Jacksonville Children’s Commission highlights childrens issues and programs in annual report

The Jacksonville Children’s Commission released “Building the Future,” their 2010-2011 Annual Report. The report addresses the challenges facing Jacksonville’s children and programs available to meet the needs of the city’s kids.

According to the report, 49 percent of the city’s youngest residents live in low-income households, with nearly 23 percent living below the poverty line. It focuses on the continuum of research-based programs that the Children’s Commission sponsored to address the needs of children.

Some of the maternal and child health-focused programs highlighted include Healthy Families, which served nearly 1,500 children, and collaborations like the New Town Success Zone Jacksonville Baby University. The Baby University, a partnership between the JCC, Community Foundation and the NEFL Healthy Start Coalition, provideded 64 parents & caregivers with information they need to promote healthy development of their children.

Other programs and initiatives that the Children’s Commission has been involved in include:

Early Literacy: The JaxKids Book Club served 10,219 preschoolers and distributed 143,066 books.

System of Care Initiative – Planning: $9 million, six-year grant secured from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to transform a system of care for children with, or at risk for, Severe Emotional Disturbance.

Training & Workforce Development: 6,724 workers serving youth received professional development training.

Child Nutrition Program. Provided 592,599 dinners and 275,803 nutritious snacks to children attending after school programs at 46 sites.

Out-of-School Suspension Program: 10,123 days of service provided to students to keep them safe, engaged in their school work and links them to special services.