Engaging in sports activities is one of the best ways to keep healthy and out of trouble. But the perks go way beyond that. Studies show that kids who participate in sports activities have higher academic achievement, lower dropout ratesSelf-Esteem, and a Strong Sense of Community. Furthermore, they also develop strong social skills such as effective decision-making, spoken and unspoken communication skills, teamwork, and time management.

Sadly, organized sports are a luxury that many lower-income kids don’t have. Statistics show that more than half of U.S. public school students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, due to their financial status. Which typically means their families can’t afford the costs of equipment or membership fees for these activities.

According to the University of Michigan, national poll about 1 in 5 lower-income parents reported that they were forced to cut back on kids sports due to cost.

Low-income kids are often left out from youth sports