More Poor Children Read To In U.S.

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WASHINGTON, Aug. 11 (UPI) — Half the young children in the United States are read to at least seven times a week by a parent or other family member, the U.S. Census Bureau reports.

Statisticians said Thursday in 2009 children ages 1 to 5 in poor families were more likely to be read to than they were in 1998. The Survey of Income and Program Participation found 56 percent of the children in families above the poverty level were read to regularly, which had not changed significantly while 45 percent of those below the line were read to, up from 37 percent in 1998.

The report, Selected Indicators of Child Well-Being, found that the percentage of children aged 12 to 17 in classes for the gifted rose from 21 percent to 27 percent.

The Census Bureau found fewer children participating in sports. Sports participation for children of all ages dropped from 41 percent to 36 percent, with 41 percent of children ages 12 to 17 involved and 32 percent of those ages 6 to 12.

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