School-age children and adolescents in the United States have a lot of discretionary time (6.5 to 8 hours per day). Participating in organized out-of-school time programs and activities is one constructive and safe way that children can spend their free time. These activities can provide supervision, fun, and opportunities to develop new skills and relationships with others. Research has shown that consistent participation in organized, high-quality out-of school time activities can have both educational and social/emotional benefits, and may have the most positive effects for youth who are most at risk. Understanding who participates is an important question to answer in order for policy makers, funders, and practitioners to identify gaps and target resources.
Race and Ethnicity Facts....
- White children participated in at least one out-of-school time activity at very high rates in the past 12 months; 83 percent of white children ages 6-11 and 81 percent of white adolescents ages 12-17 participated.
- Black children were less likely to participate than white children in the past 12 months; 65 percent of black children ages 6-11 and 72 percent of black adolescents ages 12-17 participated.
- Latino children participated the least in the past 12 months; 50 percent of Latino children ages 6-11 and 60 percent of Latino adolescents ages 12-17 participated.
- White children were more likely to participate in both clubs and sports.
- Black and Latino children were more likely to be in no activities compared with white children.
Read the entire article at Child Trends 2006