Participating in Arts or Sports Outside of School is based on parents of TDSB students (Grades K to 6) who reported how often their child participates in arts or sports outside of school. "Not participating regularly" includes "Never" or "A few times a year" responses.
Why is it important?
Participation in arts and sports can increase children's holistic development - children who participate in these activities are more likely to have improved psychological functioning and self-esteem, and good peer relationships. Involvement in arts and sports can also build resilience and protect against risk factors, especially when children have access to activities facilitated by supportive adults in inclusive spaces. Many children face barriers (such as cost) accessing these opportunities outside of school.
What does it mean?
There are stark geographic and economic differences in the percent of children participating in arts and sports outside of school in Toronto. In 2012, 56% of TDSB students (Grades K to 6), did not regularly participate in arts activities, and 42% of children did not participate regularly in sports. Figure 1 shows that a high percentage of children living in Scarborough and north Etobicoke neighbourhoods responded that they did not participate in either. Figure 2 shows a negative relationship between participation and income – children living in lower income households are less likely to participate in arts or sports. Figure 3 shows the overall response rates for both arts and sports.
Figure 1: Percent of students who did not regularly participate in arts or sports by neighbourhood, TDSB (Grades K to 6), 2012
Toronto District School Board (TDSB), Parent Census, Grades K to 6, 2012.
This indicator does not include the full range of extra-curricular and learning activities that support development - children may participate in programs that are not captured in the question. This indicator also does not provide information about the quality of these programs, or if the child participates consistently throughout the year.