Elevate Montana is an initiative of ChildWise Institute to elevate the well-being of our children by people who are passionate about the future of our state. There are many issues facing our state and our nation… issues that require long-term solutions. But if our children are not healthy physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, none of these issues will be solved; for it’s in the hands, minds, and hearts of our children where the solutions lay.
In a recent report called Achieving The American Dream, released by The Burghard Group (strengtheningbrandamerica.com), Montana ranks as the #1 state in which to live the “American Dream’. You can get a copy of the report here.
To this, we say, Really?
Maybe we are the #1 state in which to live the American Dream… in the opinion of some.
Maybe we are the #1 state for entrepreneurs (according to a Montana State government website).
Maybe we are one of the nation’s best kept secrets, and stand above all other states for “Badasses” according to a Buzzfeed article.
If Montana is the #1 state in which to live the American Dream — whatever that means — you may have a hard time convincing the children who live here.
KidsCount, a national and statewide non-partisan, non-political non-profit just released some other rankings Montana holds you may be interested in:
Montana ranks #31 in overall child well-being. You can see the article here. Now, perhaps you think that’s not too bad. Heck, that might even sound pretty good to you… just below the middle. But if I told you that we’ve looked at your child or grandchild and he or she ranks below average in well-being, how would you feel about that? I know that it would bother me! I want my children to be at the top when it comes to child well-being, don’t you? We should not be okay with our state ranking below average.
But here’s a kicker… in that same report, Montana ranks dead last when it comes to child health! The worst in the nation in this broad category… for three years in a row!
There are other numbers we need to be aware of, as well… like the State of Montana has one of the highest rates of teen suicide in the nation, and that 21% of Montana’s children live below the poverty line. Do you know what constitutes the Federal Poverty level for 2014? For a family of four it is an annual income of only $23,850! Try feeding your family of four on that! And in Montana, twenty-percent of our children are living in families that make less than that!
We need to elevate the well-being of Montana’s children. And when we do that, we will elevate the future of those children, and thus, elevate the future of this great state! Please join us in this movement!