Posted: May 1, 2014 at 6:54 pm

by Nayef AlAbduljabbar, Robert Gillispie, Dustin Hoffman and Mike Martin

Children in Monongalia County are statistically better off than those in the other 54 counties in West Virginia.

Monongalia ranks first in overall child well-being, according to data published by the state’s division of Kids Count, a national child advocacy organization.

 

Courtesy of WV Kids Count 2013 Data Book

Courtesy of WV Kids Count 2013 Data Book

This is not the first time the county has been recognized as a state leader in child health. Over the last nine years, according to data published by West Virginia Kids Count, the county has ranked in the top 3 each time and received the top ranking four times in that span.

Data Derived from WV Kids Count 2004-2013 Data Books

Data Derived from WV Kids Count 2004-2013 Data Books

The data presents quantitative analysis of 12 factors directly impacting a child’s overall health.

Courtesy of WV Kids Count 2013 Data Book

Courtesy of WV Kids Count 2013 Data Book

Monongalia County finished best in the state in three of those 12 categories, including teen birth rate, births to unmarried teens, and children approved for free and reduced-price school meals.

Karen Ghiardi, child nutrition services coordinator for the Monongalia County School District, takes pride in her district’s ability to provide well-rounded, healthy meals to children whose parents may not be able to give them such nutritional balance.