The Census Bureau reports new findings from the longitudinal Survey on Income and Program Participation (SIPP), finding that even short spells of poverty are linked with lower participation in extracurricular activities like sports or music among school-age children (6 to 17). Using three measures of extra-curricular participation—in a gifted program, in sports, or in lessons like music or dance—the author finds the most consistent differences in sports and lesson involvement. Children who were poor even part of the year were less likely to participate in these two types of activities than those who were never poor. Children who were always poor were less likely to be in a gifted program, but those who were intermittently poor participated at rates similar to higher income children. This suggests that there may be cost-related access barriers to sports and music that are less intensive for gifted programs, which may be offered most often at no cost via public education setting. #education
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