Are Extra-Curricular Activities No More?

Daniel Buyag provides insight on how extra curricular activities are facing the chopping block in public schools. With booster clubs emerging, it seems that not all hope is lost; however, they still face their financial difficulties.

“Funding reductions and budget cuts have greatly impacted schools across the country. Music, sports, hobby clubs, fine arts and performing arts programs tend to be marginalized by these cuts and end up on the chopping block. Because of this, schools are left without essential programming, causing a gap in children’s education. In response, parents and supporters of these programs have taken matters into their own hands. Through booster clubs, organizations formed to support sports, music, art programs and more by raising money, parents can help breathe new life into programming that is vital for student development.

Booster clubs have an important role in the financial support of school program offerings and a major impact on students’ development. With over 100,000 booster clubs nationwide, these clubs are able to provide a substantial amount of financial support to a number of clubs and schools. An analysis from the National School Board Association (NSBA) shows that most schools depend entirely on booster clubs to offer activities and can only offer programming that booster clubs can support independently. In some cases, funding provided by booster clubs is even used to compensate coaches and instructors of these activities.

Students are afforded greater learning opportunities through booster clubs. These opportunities allow students to develop important skills; critical thinking, leadership, creativity, empathy and problem solving are a small representation of skills students can cultivate through arts, music and sports. A study by the National Association for Music Education found that 96 percent of public school principals interviewed believe music education encourages students to stay in schools; 89 percent of those same principals also believe that music education contributes to high graduation rates. An interscholastic sports participation study found that kids who participate in sports at the middle school level have higher than average GPA’s compared to those who do not participate.

Booster club support is beneficial for both schools and children, but these clubs also have unforeseen exposures that can impact the school, the funded organizations and the parents. Booster clubs accomplish their mission through promotion, fundraising events, raffles and concessions, but these activities present a unique set of exposures that require the right coverage.

Booster clubs need:
Special event coverage if someone gets injured during a fundraising event
General liability and property coverage for day-to-day operations and meetings
Directors and officers coverage to protect the assets of both the organization and volunteer board members for decisions made

Because booster club boards are composed primarily of parents who volunteer their time and efforts, many parents may not anticipate certain exposures when stepping up to volunteer. Donors depend on volunteer boards to manage money to effectively deliver programming for children, and a lack of expertise or ill-will could lead to misappropriation of funds or theft in some cases. This creates reluctance by school officials to rely on booster clubs for fear of having fingers pointed at the institution if something were to go wrong.

These unanticipated exposures could leave many booster clubs with headaches, a lack of funding or a suit they may be in no position to defend.”

Gillman Insurance is proud to represent non-profits who strive to enrich the lives of other people. Contact us today with all your questions, concerns, and comments.

Deborah Stancel 678.822.0149,

January 2nd, 2017 by Georgia Non-Profit Insurance