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Sir Ken Robinson on Education I recently read a great interview with author and educator Sir Ken Robinson in The Costco Connection magazine. In it he talks about the state of affairs of education, in particular  the value of passion,...


From the Case for High School Activities ™ Activities Support the Academic Mission of Schools. They are not a diversion but rather an extension of a good educational program. Students who participate in activity programs tend to have higher...


Global Grade: How Do U.S. Students Compare? Matt Soeth from CADA sent me this link and it is very interesting. Pay particular attention to the interesting structure of Finnish education. Enjoy this link! Thank...


Twitter Fast Follow By Ron Ippolito The ways in which we communicate are becoming quicker, shorter, and more individually-targeted.  Yet in education, many of us still rely on the “here is the information, come-and-get-it”...


Thoughts on Dropout Crisis A few years ago I attended the America’s Promise Alliance Illinois State Dropout Prevention Summit at Illinois State University in Bloomington, Illinois. I still find myself unable to sort out what...


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DifferenceMakers, Ltd

Helping Make Great Things Happen

DifferenceMakers, Ltd was established by The “Original” Mike Smith to actively develop and enthusiastically promote personal responsibility, positive self-awareness and individual power while helping people realize the benefits of strong relationships with their classmates, school community and families through their involvement with leadership skills and co-curricular activities. This website offers many pages devoted to helping you make a difference in your school. You will find products, handouts, speakers, ideas, activities and tools to enhance your program. Welcome to DifferenceMakers… let’s make great things happen!

Let X = Student Activities

The Alliance for Student Activities has created an engaging presentation that pulls together the most current research, dialogue, and thinking about the impact of co-curricular activities on student performance. The evidence is overwhelming and quite compelling. Student Activities are the missing variable in any educational reform equation.

Whatever your desired educational, social, or emotional outcome, student activities are the common denominator that drives student performance. Participation in student activities increases students’ standardized test scores, GPAs, graduation rates, college acceptance rates, and college success rates. It practically eliminates the likelihood that a student will choose to drop out of high school. Student activities develop core social and emotional skills while reducing high-risk behavioral problems, and long term public assistance needs.

Student activities are a bargain, as the average school district spends less than 3% of their overall operating budget to support them. So, whether you are an educator, an administrator, a policy-maker, or a community member, when it comes to student activities – MAKE THE TIME, PROMOTE THE VALUE AND BE A CHAMPION FOR STUDENT ACTIVITIES!  To learn more about this campaign, visit