Afterschool equity issues persist for Black and Hispanic students

For every Black or Latinx child who participates in an afterschool program, three more children are waiting to enroll
By: | January 19, 2021
more than 4 million Black children and more than 6.5 million Latinx children would likely participate in an afterschool program, a report has found. (GettyImages/JGI/Tom Grill)more than 4 million Black children and more than 6.5 million Latinx children would likely participate in an afterschool program, a report has found. (GettyImages/JGI/Tom Grill)

More than 50% of Black and Hispanic children not enrolled in afterschool activities would join a program if they could, a report on extracurricular equity finds.

For every Black or Latinx child who participates in an afterschool program, three more children are waiting to enroll, according to the 2020 edition of the America After 3PM report by the Afterschool Alliance.

Overall, more than 4 million Black children and more than 6.5 million Latinx children would likely participate in an afterschool program, the report found.

Also, the unmet demand is higher among Black and Latinx families—58% and 55%, respectively—than it is among families with white children (46%).

And inequities are even greater among low-income families, who face lack of safe transportation, lack of convenient locations, lack of availability and prohibitive costs, the report finds.


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Yet, nine in 10 Black and Latinx parents report high satisfaction with the afterschool programs in which their children participate. That’s because children receive help with homework, take part in STEM activities, learn life and social skills, and get exercise and healthy meals

And after increasing steadily from 14% in 2004 to 29% in 2014, afterschool participation by Hispanic students dropped to 16% in 2020. (GettyImages/eyecrave)

And after increasing steadily from 14% in 2004 to 29% in 2014, afterschool participation by Hispanic students dropped to 16% in 2020. (GettyImages/eyecrave)

Eighty-eight percent of parents in both communities also favor public funding for afterschool programs, the report finds.

The report was also conducted in 2004, 2009, and 2014.

For example, the unmet afterschool need among Black children rose from 53% in 2004 to 61% in 2009, then dropped to 58% last year.

Participation among black students has decreased in the same time period, falling from 20% in 2004 to 18% in 2020, with some increases in between.


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The numbers are similar for Latinx students.

In 2004, 44% said they would participate in afterschool activities if available compared to 55% last year.

And after increasing steadily from 14% in 2004 to 29% in 2014, afterschool participation by Hispanic students dropped to 16% in 2020.

In both Black and Latinx communities, a large majority of parents said afterschool activities kept students safe.