Michigan's 83 counties were ranked in a new Kids Count report based on economic security, health, family and community, and education.
The report revealed a statewide increase in child poverty, and decreases in children in the foster care system and teen birth rates.
Ottawa County ranked sixth in the state for having the fewest percentage of students not proficient in the Michigan Merit Exam high school reading tests.
Vonnie VanderZwaag, the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District’s director of Early Childhood Services, said the county’s data reflects the current efforts in place are effective. She said it’s a combination of efforts by agencies such as the county health department and local schools.
“I feel like it is a great indicator that the efforts that the agencies are initiating are making a difference,” VanderZwaag said.
Although progress has been made to push the county into the top ranking, Veronica Pechumer, coordinator of the intermediate school district’s Great Start Collaborative, said it isn’t enough.
“There’s work to be done,” she said.
To check out the data for Ottawa County from the Kids Count report, CLICK HERE.