On Oct. 12, 2010, the City of Virginia Beach joined the Mayors’ Action Challenge for Children and Families, a National League of Cities initiative. Mayor Sessoms’ call to action features four bold goals to make Virginia Beach children safer, better educated and healthier, and help their families become financially secure. The challenge specifies that these goals focus on four key priorities that comprise the building blocks of what every child needs, at a minimum, to live a full, healthy and productive life:
- Opportunities to Learn and Grow
- A Safe Neighborhood to Call Home
- A Healthy Lifestyle and Environment
- A Financially Fit Family in Which to Thrive
The four goals are:
Opportunities to Learn and Grow
By 2012, 90 percent of preschool children will be prepared to be successful in kindergarten as evidenced by Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS) scores. A Safe Neighborhood to Call Home
By 2011, the city will gain an in-depth understanding from at least 300 residents of at-risk neighborhoods of what is needed to help them feel safer in their homes. Police officers will conduct door-to-door interviews of residents who live in neighborhoods requiring the greatest amount of police resources. This will assess their feelings of safety, strengthen connections between the police and these neighborhoods and help the city capture valuable information about what is needed to improve safety in these areas.
A Healthy Lifestyle and Environment
Curb childhood obesity and promote preventive health care, healthy eating and physical fitness by developing a comprehensive strategy to address these issues in alignment with the Virginia Beach City Public Schools’ goal of Health Literacy, one of the 21st Century Skills for Virginia Beach City Public School students.A Financially Fit Family in Which to Thrive
Connect 500 low-income families to mainstream financial institutions and help these families avoid foreclosure, avoid predatory lenders and stretch budgets in tough economic times, insuring they are financially fit for the future by 2015.
And that’s only four of the more than 20 objectives and 35 programs and initiatives. For a full listing of responses, please read the Mayor Action Challenge Application. For more information, please visit www.mayorsforkids.org.