Cheryl and Patty presented us today with a report on a variety of issues that deal with measuring the quality of life for children in Alaska.  They provided a great deal of information, including a statistical survey that was only recently completed.

In the last few months, the McDowell Group completed a telephone survey.  They called thousands of households with young children, and asked their parents a variety of questions about what services in the community that they make use of and what types of services they would most like to see become available.

The numbers showed considerable local problems regarding children's preparation for learning in the schools, and a lack of  indoor activities during the winter.  The overwhelming complaint of most parents is a lack of indoor activities available to families with young children during the winter.  This has been a long-standing issue, but there does not seem to be any solution in sight.

There have been a number of positive strides in the quality of life for children, though. There has been more study of the problems that young families face, and a greater amount of effort is being put toward making a better quality of life for them here in Alaska.  It is a great challenge, though, with such a high percentage of people moving in and out of Alaska.  Add to this the sad fact that a great deal of motivation to change the quality of life for young families tends to wane when their children grow older.

Cheryl and Patty are very passionate about not only studying these issues, but also in really making a difference.  The other members of the club truly appreciate their work, and their willingness to take the time to teach us more about the statistics and realities about the quality of life for children in Alaska.