For the most part, it is widely understood that parents want more or less the same thing for their children: to be happy and healthy, to be well-educated, and to be as good as or better off financially than they are themselves. But a recent article in the New York Times put into layman’s terms the findings from a survey by the Pew Research Center about how class influences how children are raised.
Some of the interesting findings from the survey concluded that participation in extracurricular activities are a key difference between more affluent families and working class families. The study found that, from their sample population, 84 percent children from middle class families “have participated in organized sports over the past year, 64 percent have done volunteer work and 62 percent have taken lessons in music, dance or art.” For working class families, the numbers are 59 percent, 37 percent, and 41 percent respectively.
Additionally, the survey found that 50 percent of working class families said that it is extremely important to them that their children matriculate to college and earn a degree, compared to just 39 percent of more affluent families. This strong push for higher education from working class families is congruent with what we found in our Project 126 Report almost six years ago. Our analysis of individuals in zip codes 11101, 11102 and 11106 with concentrated pockets of poverty in a largely middle class community rated education as the top priority for their children. This is why we started and support organizations like Zone 126 and other programs in the neighborhood to reduce the achievement and opportunity gap.
Head over to the New York Times’ piece by clicking here and let us know what you think of the article as well as the findings from the Pew Research Center.