Chesterfield County, this month, was named one of America’s Promise Alliance’s “100 Best Communities for Young People presented by ING.” The national award was given to Chesterfield County to recognize its outstanding and innovative work in promoting high school graduation and for its programs and services that make it an outstanding place for youths to live, learn and grow.
Youth-serving programs designed to engage, inspire and support young people from birth through high school, earned Chesterfield County a “100 Best” win for the sixth time.
Recognizing that a healthy start is important, the county’s Coalition for Active Children works with 15 community partners to offer programs that address childhood obesity issues and help families make healthy choices. The county’s parenting.chesterfield.gov, provides easy access to user-friendly parenting information that includes tips on addressing common parenting issues, a local resource directory and links to related websites.
Chesterfield County’s longstanding commitment to providing a variety of educational pathways has helped the community achieve an on-time graduation rate of nearly 87 percent. A Drop Out Prevention Task Force, comprised of school and community representatives, provides a systematic approach to ensuring that students stay in school and graduate on time. Efforts start in elementary school, where an “early warning system” signals school counselors when a child has five absences. Advocates reach out to the child and family to reinforce the message that, “Every day counts” and to offer assistance in addressing attendance barriers. The Success program allows academically struggling eighth graders to complete two ninth-grade core classes in summer school and receive mentoring throughout their freshman year for a smoother transition to high school. Twice each year, drop-in fairs provide an opportunity to connect students, who have dropped out, with resources that will help them earn a high school diploma.
“Being named one of America’s Promise Alliance’s 100 Best Communities for the sixth time is significant, and demonstrates that Chesterfield County is steadfastly working to provide our young people with every opportunity to succeed,” said Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors Chairman Dan Gecker. “So many dedicated people and programs contributed to this recognition, and it further reinforces our belief that a focus on our young citizens pays dividends to the entire community.”
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.