Voices’ Blog

KIDS COUNT on Virginia’s Eastern Shore

Posted:  -  By: Emily Griffey

Last week 100 community members from Accomack and Northampton counties on the Eastern Shore of Virginia participated in a forum to explore and discuss the well-being of children on the Eastern Shore. Dr. Bill O’Hare, a friend to Voices and other KIDS COUNT organizations across the country, now lives on the Eastern Shore. Dr. O’Hare analyzed hundreds of indicators of child well-being to create a child well-being index. He presented his findings to community leaders at the Eastern Shore forum. You can read his report on our website.

Some of Dr. O’Hare’s findings include:

  • On every dimension of child well-being (Economics, Health, Education and Family/Community environment) children on the Eastern Shore are ranked near the bottom of all counties in Virginia.
  • Out of 133 counties (and independent cities) in Virginia, Accomack county ranked 123rd and Northampton county ranked 125th on overall child well-being.
  • High quality preschool and early life experiences are identified as one of the most promising avenues to improve the well-being of children on the Eastern Shore.

After hearing this presentation, community members were invited meet with organizations that represented solutions or strategies to improve these outcomes for children on the Eastern Shore. Community members were asked to prioritize which issues were the most important to improve child well-being.

We are glad to play a part in helping this conversation to take shape on the Eastern Shore. This format is a great example of what other communities can do to use data on child well-being to drive community priorities and local decision-making.

Nearly 100 participants from Accomack and Northampton counties participated in the forum on child well-being.



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