INDIANAPOLIS — The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) and its 51 state high school associations begin the annual celebration of National High School Activities Month today with the launch of the #MyReasonWhy campaign.
The #MyReasonWhy campaign is designed to showcase the tremendous value that high school sports and activities offer to students. With real-life examples, #MyReasonWhy will show that high school students involved in education-based activity programs demonstrate a higher level of academic performances and set themselves up for successful careers following high school graduation.
Through the #MyReasonWhy campaign, the NFHS and its member state high school associations are working to ensure that education-based programs are available for years to come. This national campaign will demonstrate why:
- Participation in high school sports has increased every year for the past 27 years.
- Thousands of men and women coach high school sports for their entire career – even, at times, with the opportunity to coach at higher levels.
- More than four million high school students are involved annually in performing arts programs.
- Many communities across the country shut down on Friday nights in the fall to support the local high school football team.
- Many individuals give up personal time in the evenings and on weekends to officiate high school sports.
Each of the 51 state associations is equipped with a customized digital toolkit to help promote this important campaign highlighting high school students.
Students, as well as parents, coaches, officials and others in the community, will be encouraged to submit real-life stories about their reasons for participating in high school sports and activity programs. These stories will be submitted on the campaign website at www.nfhs.org/myreasonwhy and through the #MyReasonWhy link at the top of the NFHS home page. Additional information can be found on all NFHS social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
“We are excited about the #MyReasonWhy campaign as yet another avenue to spread the message about the values of these programs to young people,” said Bob Gardner, NFHS executive director. “We look forward to reading these accounts of why students, coaches and officials are involved in high school activities.”
The launch of the #MyReasonWhy campaign coincides with National High School Activities Month, which was started in 1980 as National High School Activities Week to increase the public’s awareness of the values and needs of interscholastic activity programs.
The foundation for National High School Activities Month is similar to principles of the #MyReasonWhy campaign, looking to remind students, parents, coaches, officials and others in our communities about the value of education-based activities in their daily lives.
High school activities help address society’s most current issues by:
- Finding and nurturing the best effort of each young participant;
- Encouraging students to stay in school, perform better academically and become better citizens;
- Demanding respect for fair play and appreciation for the equitable application of procedures, rules and regulations;
- Providing healthy lifestyle instruction; and
- Challenging racism, sexism and classism through the active pursuit of teamwork and school spirit.
Each week throughout the month-long celebration will feature a specific emphasis: National Sportsmanship, Fan Appreciation and Public-Address Announcers Week (Oct. 1-8); National Performing Arts Activities Week (Oct. 10-15); National Coaches/Sponsors/Advisors/Officials Week (Oct. 17-22); and National Community Service/Youth Awareness Week (Oct. 24-31).
“We have fundamental, empirical evidence that interscholastic activities provide a successful way in which to create healthy and successful citizens,” Gardner said. “Through National High School Activities Month, we have an opportunity to reflect on our participation as well as the participation of our children. Our nation must continue to support these programs and the life skills they provide America’s youth.”
To help schools recognize National High School Activities Month, the NFHS has provided materials that include ways to celebrate the month-long events, along with The Case for High School Activities. These materials, in addition to other information about National High School Activities Month, can be found on the NFHS website at www.nfhs.org/media/1016835/national_high_school_activities_month_2016.pdf.
About the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS)
The NFHS, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, is the national leadership organization for high school sports and performing arts activities. Since 1920, the NFHS has led the development of education-based interscholastic sports and performing arts activities that help students succeed in their lives. The NFHS sets direction for the future by building awareness and support, improving the participation experience, establishing consistent standards and rules for competition, and helping those who oversee high school sports and activities. The NFHS writes playing rules for 16 sports for boys and girls at the high school level. Through its 50 member state associations and the District of Columbia, the NFHS reaches more than 19,000 high schools and 11 million participants in high school activity programs, including more than 7.8 million in high school sports. As the recognized national authority on interscholastic activity programs, the NFHS conducts national meetings; sanctions interstate events; offers online publications and services for high school coaches and officials; sponsors professional organizations for high school coaches, officials, speech and debate coaches, and music adjudicators; serves as the national source for interscholastic coach training; and serves as a national information resource of interscholastic athletics and activities. For more information, visit the NFHS website at www.nfhs.org.