The following is the first in our Children’s Health Vlog Series. This entry highlights the out-of-school health factors that influence student academic performance and their impact. It also covers best practices for crafting quality environments for children to learn and grow.
By Micheal Ou
Academic performance is often associated with school quality, but schools only explain one-third of student achievement in reality. The remaining two-thirds are attributable to non-school factors. This distinction should be kept in mind when addressing academic achievement, especially when creating education policy.
Any factors that cause stress or jeopardize physical or mental health can negatively impact academic performance. Some examples of negative out-of-school factors include family substance abuse, violence, and child malnutrition. Conversely, some positive non-school aspects include having good role models, participation in youth organizations, additional reading time, and cultural experiences. Generally, factors that improve a child’s maturity, emotional, and personal state will increase their academic achievement. An ideal environment for a child would have many positive non-school factors and few negative non-school factors. Given the pandemic where children are staying at home more, non-school factors such as home life may be playing a more significant role.
Former President Barrack Obama once said, “It’s not just making sure your kids are doing their homework, it’s also instilling a thirst for knowledge and excellence.” Children interested in a subject matter are more likely to perform well academically and excel in that area. Activities that encourage children to love learning and gain confidence in their abilities can support academic achievement in other areas. When children have avenues to reduce stress, improve their physical and mental health, and explore emerging interests, they can better focus in school and navigate academic challenges.
Michael Ou is the Health & Nutrition AmeriCorps VISTA at CHILDREN AT RISK. For questions or comments contact Michael at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MORE LIKE THIS
2023 Kroger School Food Rankings
Across Texas, over 5.4 million students were offered free school meals through federal programs, such as the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program. For many of these children, meals eaten at school are the only substantial...
Growing Up In Houston: Assessing the Quality of Life of Our Children
Data must be the catalyst for any conversation regarding the well-being of our children. However, data alone is not sufficient. We must also overlay context to better understand the complexities of the many issues facing our children. Growing Up in Houston aims to do just that.
CHILDREN AT RISK and Texas Family Leadership Council Host Third Annual State of Black Children in Texas
On Thursday, February 16, the Texas Family Leadership Council and CHILDREN AT RISK hosted the third annual State of Black Children in Texas summit. The summit explored the challenges Black children face growing up in Texas and how to best support...