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Chandler chosen again as one of best places for young people

Resource type: News

The Arizona Republic |

by Weldon B. Johnson For the third time, Chandler has been selected one of the 100 Best Communities for Young People according to the America’s Promise Alliance. The honor doesn’t amount to just a plaque that hangs on a wall in City Hall or a boasting line on the city’s Web site; it has led to a coalition working to improve the lives of the city’s youth. Winning the award for the first time in 2005 resulted in the creation of the Coalition for Chandler Youth. That organization has built partnerships among government, non-profit organizations and businesses with the goal of helping young people. “I think the questions (on the application) are actually designed to make you think about where your successes are and where your improvements could be in those relationships,” Chandler spokeswoman Jane Poston said. “Because that’s what they really want you to do and what they see as successful.” Poston, who put together the application for the award, cited as an example a recent partnership between a local auto dealer and the Chandler Jaycees. The dealer was looking to boost involvement in a community event it was hosting. The Jaycees were seeking additional help on an event to help families fingerprint, photograph and otherwise identify a child in case of a disappearance or kidnapping. They came together through the coalition and both will now take part in Chandler’s Day of Play. The Day of Play is a community festival that also came out of the 2005 100 Best Award. This year’s Day of Play takes place Oct. 18, at Tumbleweed Park. “One thing they asked us to do is create a celebration,” Poston said. “We’re trying to make that something where it’s not just a one-day event … We’re going to have some dental care, some health care, vision care and lots of activities. It’s not just city government things like the rec center, but the non-profits and private businesses are involved, too.” The America’s Promise Foundation was founded by Colin Powell in 1997 to build coalitions between different local entities to help at-risk youth. Cities chosen for the 100 Best awards are those that demonstrate efforts toward five key principles of America’s Promise: caring adults, safe places, a healthy start, effective education and opportunities to help others. Cities that achieve 100 Best status can apply for a portion $300,000 in grant funds and other resources from the foundation. In Arizona, Tempe and Scottsdale have also are three-time recipients of the award.

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America's Promise Alliance, Chandler