Summer Break Means Disparate Access to the Arts

The finding is not surprising: wealthier children are about twice as likely to visit a cultural institution or historical place or see a play or concert during the summer, as compared with children from lower-income families, points out an article by Chalkbeat.

"While nearly two-thirds of students from non-poor families visited art galleries, museums, libraries, or historical sites with family members during the summer, only one-third of poor students did," explains the article. The results are based on a survey of parents and guardians by the Department of Education from 2011 that focuses on the experience of young children in the summer after kindergarten.

The disparities call attention to the importance of arts education in schools to fill that gap and provide that exposure children need to boost their sensibilities, critical thinking, and knowledge:

“It appears that the less prior exposure to culturally enriching experiences students have, the larger the benefit of receiving a school tour of a museum,” wrote researchers Jay Greene, Brian Kisida, and Daniel Bowen in one study. “Disadvantaged students need their schools to take them on enriching field trips if they are likely to have these experiences at all.”

Read the full article here.

Image: Unsplash/Leonardo Burgos