The Battle Creek Enquirer’s editorial “We are failing our kids; why?” brought to light sobering statistics from the annual Kids Count survey showing Calhoun County ranking in the lower third in the state by most measures – 66th of 82 counties for overall child well-being.
We here at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation read the editorial with great interest and with a heavy heart. The reality is economic conditions are stark in Michigan. And while we’ve seen modest improvement in some areas, like unemployment figures, we know conditions, even when they improve, do so more slowly than anyone would like. Which makes it ever more apparent that the key to ensuring the strength and vitality of our community and the health and well-being of our children is not a one-person job. It is a challenge that can only be met by all of us.
We must ask ourselves, as members of this community, what do we need to provide for healthy kids? What does it take to ensure that our kids our ready for school? How do we, as caretakers of the next generation, provide safe and secure environments for our children to succeed?
No one community member is absolved of the problem, and we all need to work together to find solutions. The foundation stands ready to join together with our community partners in support of solutions that make Battle Creek an ideal place to live, work and play. Our children deserve better.
Sterling Speirn, president and CEO of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.