The Child Opportunity Index is a study that has a ranking system from VERY LOW to VERY HIGH with a mission to help assist impoverished neighborhoods. They have identified three types of conditions that can help children thrive. They are:
Health and Environmental
Social and Economical
In 2015, the release found that Albany was the lowest-ranked of 100 major cities in the United States in terms of the healthy development of Hispanic and black children. Jonathan Jones, the Commissioner of Recreation, Youth and Workforce Services wanted to address the issue, so he partnered with Albany's Mayor Kathy Sheehan to address the issue. Together they refurbished 13 playgrounds in Albany partnering with KOMPAN which manufactures playground equipment.
“We’ve redone 13 parks and many have intergenerational features, like fitness equipment to help the whole family. Each new park has ADA compliant equipment, so all of our residents could play,” says Jones. “Albany is a neighborhood city, and the parks connect the neighborhoods.”
“Not only is [each park] a place for our young people to meet friends, create networks, there are a lot of apparatus’ here that are going to challenge them not only physically but mentally,” added Jones.
With an update to the Child Opportunity Index, Albany has been recognized as one of the cities taking action in providing equal opportunities to all children with the addition of the new playgrounds.
By: Jay Denson