Source: Christ School
Promoted by Christ School

Christ School: The fun never ends with extracurricular education

Parents are spending more on enrichment activities for their children. Between 1972 and 2010, wealthy parents in the US — with income in the top 10% — tripled how much they spent on child-care and enrichment activities for children under six.

It’s a trend that’s understandable given the fierce competition students face to get into the best schools so that they may get into the best universities and thus be on the path to the best careers and best lives. Every leg up counts in this race.

But for all the prestige, security and fulfilment being #1 may be, it is by no means the only measure of success. The journey matters too — especially if it’s filled with the opportunity to encounter new things, overcome new challenges and feel content about these along the way. Whether it’s dance class or coding camp, each has the potential to teach life skills, like time management, independence and personal responsibility. Activities that let children gain such benefits while burnishing their future college application, enjoying themselves and being just kids hit just the right amount of balance.

For examples of these, head to Christ School. Huddled in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Asheville in North Carolina, the private college preparatory day and boarding school for boys in grades eight to 12 offers a full college preparatory curriculum that’s defined by small classes, Advanced Placement and honours courses in all subjects, and an outstanding faculty.

Its mission is to produce “educated men of good character, prepared for both scholastic achievement in college and productive citizenship in adult society” — and its extensive extracurricular opportunities realise this vision.

Athletics here help boys develop emotionally as well as physically. They can choose various offerings, including soccer, track, golf, baseball, outdoor programme, theatre, and more. As they practise and perform, they learn self-discipline, develop confidence, and feel belonged.

They win too. Emanuel Richards led his school to its seventh state championship in the basketball programme’s 100th year. “It feels amazing. To turn the whole basketball programme around in two years and get a state championship is a blessing,” he says. “I’m just thankful.”

Another student, Dawson Reeves, won the boys’ mile at the Adidas Track Nationals indoor meet in March. Clocking in at four minutes, 16.89 seconds, he became the national champion. “I wanted to be pretty cognizant, pretty mindful of what I was doing. Once I hit 400 (metres) to go, my legs felt pretty decent. I knew I had a kick left in me. I took a look behind me, and they were pretty far back. I knew I had it in the bag at that moment,” he says. In kayaking, the Edens brothers shone during the US Team Trials.

Just as impressive are Christ School artists. Recently, five students from the school were recognised as part of the annual Western North Carolina Regional Scholastic Art Awards. At the inaugural “Asheville’s Got Talent,” Kahzi Sealey, who took the stage last, received a standing ovation and took home the first-place trophy for his original rap “A Lifetime.”

Source: Christ School

Christ School students find enrichment in many extracurricular activities. Source: Christ School

Students are also encouraged to be trailblazers and to affect change where possible. Just ask Ty Besses. He is a Morehead-Cain Scholar, among the most highly coveted scholarships available to high school seniors. Besses is ecstatic; this scholarship provides funds for four years of education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a per-semester stipend for general spending, funding for a gap year, and four summer experiences.

The scholarship has four criteria – leadership, character, scholarship, and physical vigour — all of which Besses met thanks to Christ School’s vast offerings. He was a prefect, a member of the National Honour Society, and a leader and a founding member of the Alliance and Black Student Union groups. He played basketball and ran track too. “I’m really grateful for my time here at Christ School and the opportunities that the school has given me,” he says.

Despite its students achieving so much, no one is left behind. Olga Mahoney, the history teacher at Christ School, says everyone, including international students, is encouraged to participate actively and engage in these activities. “Our faculty is dedicated to ensuring that every student becomes the best version of himself in and out of the classroom,” says the mother of former student Michael Mahoney ’20 who’s now at Harvard University.

“These offerings broaden their interests, improve their social skills, encourage creativity, and foster critical thinking skills. Our faculty is dedicated to ensuring that every student becomes the best version of himself in and out of the classroom. We work with each student in equipping them with knowledge and a variety of skills that will help them thrive in university and beyond.”

Mandarin teacher, Wenshun Tang, agrees. “Christ School’s 500-acre campus, along with its four pillars of academics, leadership, spirituality, the dignity of manual labour, provides a safe, supportive living and learning environment to develop each one of the boys into a well-balanced person to face and lead the uncertain world,” Tang says.

Source: Christ School

The school procured an American Champion Citabria (7GCAA) plane to train young pilots. Source: Christ School

Programmes that are geared towards the future ensure this. Christ School’s robotics team had students building and designing their own robots. In their first competition, they had to perform a series of time tasks with the robot as well as compete alongside other robots to complete challenges. They placed high enough to move on to the state-level competition based on their first performance.

With a new FAA-certified flight simulator on campus, it seems like the sky’s the limit for Christ School’s extracurriculars. The simulator was installed to pair with “Greenie One,” the aviation programme’s plane. In the inaugural year of the programme, 10 boys participated and all are well on their way to getting their private pilot’s license.

Follow Christ School on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram