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Status of Education in Rural America
NCES 2007-040
June 2007

1.13. Family outings


In 2003, a greater proportion of students in rural areas had parents who reported taking their children to an athletic event outside of school than students in cities and suburbs. A smaller percentage of students in rural areas and towns than students in cities and suburbs had parents who reported taking their children to a library or visiting a zoo or aquarium.

In 2003, the National Household Education Survey (NHES) asked parents of elementary and secondary public and private school students about their participation in certain activities outside of school and home. Nationally, 44 percent of elementary and secondary school students had parents who reported visiting a library with their children in the past month; 38 percent had parents who reported attending an athletic or sporting event; 35 percent had parents who reported going to a play, concert, or live show; 20 percent had parents who reported visiting an art gallery, museum, or historical site; and 12 percent had parents who reported visiting a zoo or aquarium (table 1.13). In rural areas, 42 percent of students had parents who reported attending an athletic event with their children; 38 percent had parents who reported visiting a library; 34 percent had parents who reported going to a play, concert, or live show; 15 percent had parents who reported visiting an art gallery, museum, or historical site; and 8 percent had parents who reported visiting a zoo or aquarium (figure 1.13).

A larger percentage of rural students (42 percent) than suburban students (38 percent) and city students (34 percent) had parents who reported attending athletic events with their children. There were no measurable differences between the percentage of students in rural areas (34 percent) with parents who reported taking their children to a play, concert, or live show and the percentages of students in cities (35 percent), suburbs (36 percent), and towns (34 percent) with parents who reported attending these events. No measurable differences existed between the percentages of students in rural areas and students in towns whose parents reported participating in any of the selected activities.

A smaller percentage of students in rural areas and towns had parents who reported visiting a library with their children (38 percent in both areas) than students in cities (48 percent) and suburban areas (47 percent). A lower percentage of students in rural areas (15 percent) also had parents who reported having visited an art gallery, museum, or historical site with their children than students in suburbs (21 percent) or cities (22 percent). Similarly, a lower percentage of students in rural areas (8 percent) had parents who reported having visited a zoo or aquarium with their children, compared with students in suburbs (14 percent) and cities (15 percent).

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