Thursday, October 13, 2011

Marina, among the best communities for young people

Here's some fascinating news. Marina has been named one of the best 100 communities for young people in the United States by the America’s Promise Alliance, an organization that promotes collaboration to make sure children graduate from high school.

Among the reasons Marina was selected as a 100 Best Community is because of the city's support their youth and the ways city leaders have demonstrated it: building a new teen center, which hosts the Breakfast Club every school day before school opens; establishing the Friday Night Live youth development program; establishing a Recreation Department in 2006 to make recreation a priority in our city; establishing junior high, senior high, and skate park advisory boards with youth; establishing a city skate team which recently won the 2011 State Games of America National Junior Olympic Skateboarding Championship; our three primary service clubs, Rotary, Kiwanis, and Lions each have programs to support our local youth development; and we have some specialized youth arts development programs like Marina Youth Arts and Spector Dance to name a few of the reasons.

Two things to think about: how will these services help decrease the dropout rate, which stands at almost 16 percent? And, why is a community that's having such a spotty record in student achievement -- as measured by California standarized tests -- considered good for youth?

The answer could be in a complaint commonly heard from opponents to standarized testing: those grades can't be the only way we measure achievement. How do measure their creativity? Their politeness? Their value as human beings?

Marina is definitely onto something. Congratulations, and way to go!

83 percent graduation rate

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