Children’s lives are shaped by their experiences in school and in extracurricular activities—both of
which are sources of learning, identity formation, and socialization. This report uses a number of indicators to portray aspects of children’s well-being, primarily as it relates to involvement in school and extracurricular activities. The report also explores other aspects of children’s lives, such as parental engagement in reading, outings, and shared dinners. The findings come from Wave 1 of the 2014 Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP).
This report first presents estimates related to household and family characteristics, showing different types of family situations in which children live, how many live in poverty, and other social and demographic characteristics. Next, we discuss parental interaction, providing estimates for the frequency in which children are read to, go on outings, and have shared dinner time with a parent. We then turn to children’s extracurricular activities, analyzing historical trends in activities, differences in involvement by poverty status, and estimates for the number of children who participate in multiple extracurricular activities and in religious activities. Finally, we explore school experiences by first looking at school outcomes by parental education, and then analyzing associations between school engagement and individual and family context.