Downers Grove was named No.2 on Livability.com’s “Top 10 Best Cities for Kids 2014.” The annual list ranks cities from around the nation based on criteria including education, healthy lifestyle options and crime rates. Downers Grove made the list with flying colors as the only city in Ill. to be identified. Preceding Downers Grove is Boise, Idaho and following it is Overland Park, Kan., Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Plano, Texas, Carmel, Ind., Brentwood, Tenn., Palo Alto, Calif., Royal Oak, Mich. and Newton, Mass.
Livability.com determines America’s best places to live, visit and work. It showcases demographics, in-depth articles, maps and information about cities around the country. For its recent list, “Top 10 Best Cities for Kids 2014,” editors of the website narrowed in on the most child-populated cities. They established which cities have the highest performing schools, best health insurance options, lowest crime and child mortality rates and the most opportunities for children to stay active. For example, cities with more restaurants that feature kids menus, playgrounds, libraries and kid-friendly festivals were likely to rank higher than cities that lack those things.
Downers Grove city leaders focus on promoting a family-friendly environment in their community. It has a crime rate less than one quarter of the national average. In addition, the city hosts over 140 events and festivals each year, such as the annual Halloween parade, the Gingerbread Festival in the winter and the classic car show in the summer. The Downers Grove Park District offers recreational activities to both parents and children. Between the renovated downtown area, library, recreational center and the Lincoln Center, which offers preschool and active adult sessions, there is plenty to do to keep busy and stay active.
Downers Grove also has some of the top elementary schools in the state. Pierce Downer, Highland and Belle Aire Elementary Schools were all ranked in the top 150 best grade schools in the state, according to School Digger. Downers Grove Grade School District 58 works to create diverse programs for students and parents that meet individual needs. Programs include speech & language, developmental learning, multi-needs, private placement and more. It is the combination of education, recreational activities and the flourishing community that has placed Downers Grove on Livability.com’s 2014 list for best cities for kids. “We are proud to be a vital part of such a wonderful community,” said District 58 Superintendent Dr. Kari Cremascoli in reaction to the cities No. 2 rank on the list.