Living Well in Prince George's County
Friday, May 9, 2014

Grant sends positive message to county’s children

When I learned that President Obama awarded $7 million in grant support to three Prince George’s County schools, I felt more than gratitude … I felt promise.

As a longtime resident, former elected official and as an advocate in the county, it was inspiring to see this commitment to elevating current work. This is more than a grant; these dollars tell our community and our children, “You matter, we know there are barriers and we will invest in you to make success attainable.”

The most important work we can do for our children and our communities is to level the playing field.

This investment will help our youth overcome crime, poor access to quality nutrition, clinical care and inadequate housing by providing an environment where students will reach their optimum capacity and realize their dreams.

It is about looking at the broader picture and the many environmental elements that threaten a child’s ability to succeed. In Prince George’s County, we know that place matters. There are many committed, concerned residents leading the charge in this area. Our best efforts are often the product of residents, businesses and organizations that work together on immediate and sustainable solutions.

In 2008, many local residents, leaders and organizations including Common Health ACTION and Kaiser Permanente came together to form the Port Towns Community Health Partnership, serving the neighborhoods surrounding Bladensburg High School. This collaboration has prepared students to be wellness ambassadors, supported safe places where children and families can play, created more access to fresh nutritious food and opened opportunities for collaboration in the county that support thriving communities.

The career training that students will receive is critical, and creating environments that nurture healthy, focused students is just as critical. This work is a partnership and it takes all of us to move the needle. As a resident, I am most grateful for this investment to take our community into the future.

David Harrington is president and CEO of the Prince George’s Chamber of Commerce.
David Harrington

David Harrington

a former state senator, is senior policy adviser for nonprofit public health organization CommonHealth ACTION and president and CEO of the Prince George’s Chamber of Commerce.

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