Chesterfield among the best communities for young people

Chesterfield County achieved national recognition once again last Wednesday as one of America’s Promise Alliance’s 100 Best Communities for Young People presented by ING for its initiatives to help young people. The competition recognizes communities across the country that focus on reducing high school dropout rates and providing service and support to their youths.

America’s Promise Alliance recognized Chesterfield County as one of the nation’s 100 Best Communities for Young People for a fifth time because of the county’s collaborative culture and commitment to providing young people with the resources they need to be successful. Last year, the local Communities In Schools program, made up of more than 400 mentors, tutors, lunch buddies and classroom helpers, volunteered nearly 5,000 hours to deliver education, health and social support services to promote academic achievement and help students graduate. Approximately 100 students earn high school diplomas each year through the Communities in Schools program. The Chesterfield County Youth Services Citizen Board provides young leaders with the opportunity to have a voice regarding youth-related issues by planning programs and offering the Board of Supervisors with policy recommendations. Each year, thanks to a partnership with the Virginia Dental Association, the Southside Dental Society and Communities In Schools, nearly 150 students in need receive dental screenings and follow-up treatments free of charge.  These are just a few of many such initiatives on behalf of the county’s young people.

“We’re proud of Chesterfield County for being named one of the America’s Promise Alliance’s 100 Best Communities five consecutive times,” said Art Warren, chairman of the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors. “This award recognizes the hard work of the many community members and schools and county staff who have dedicated themselves to making a difference in the lives of our young people.”

“Chesterfield County Public Schools is proud to share in the America’s Promise 100 Best Communities award for the fifth straight year,” stated Dianne Pettitt, chairman of the Chesterfield County School Board. “As staunch supporters of our youth, the School Board and our dedicated employees understand that an effective educational system is the backbone of a vibrant society. This award is a celebration of just how great it is to live in and raise a family in Chesterfield County.”

Chesterfield County will receive a $2,500 grant, signage identifying the community as one of the nation’s 100 Best Communities for Young People, and access to America’s Promise Alliance’s community development resources.

The winners are a diverse group, ranging from small communities to large cities. A list of all 2011 winners can be found at www.americaspromise.org/100best.

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