One of the most amazing things I noticed was when I first visited my daughter and her family after they had moved from California to Indiana. In the Southern California desert where I lived then (and where they lived before moving), there are very few places or organized activities or much of anything outside of schools and some churches that put any emphasis on families and children. In that part of the state (and in other parts of that state, as well) the emphasis is on things for adults to do -- golf, tennis, art shows, theater (not child-centered), etc. Things began to improve slightly when skate parks were built in two towns and a children's museum was established, but not much else.
In Indiana (and in other states where my daughter's family has lived since then), the whole atmosphere is quite different. Churches and civic agencies have many places and functions and activities that are designed specifically to promote family life and interactions.
~~Indianapolis has a multi-story, absolutely fantastic children's museum. http://www.childrensmuseum.org/
~~Zionsville holds an all-day Independence Day festival, ending with 30 minutes of fireworks! http://www2.indystar.com/autofocus/galleries/show/2783/7
~~Albuquerque is another area where there is an abundance of family-oriented places and activities: http://gocitykids.parentsconnect.com/region/albuquerque-nm-usa
There are many others, of course, and we are now learning about many child-friendly and family-oriented organizations and agencies and churches/temples in southeast Texas.
All these places and activities reflect an attitude of the particular community toward the positive development of children and families to that state's or area's future. There's a trite saying out there: "Children are our future." Yes, it's hackneyed, but it's also very true, and if communities and all the organizations and agencies in them don't focus on building the strength of families and the development of children in the ideals they prize, then there will probably be fewer adults in the future who will be ready to be our country's leaders -- at whatever level.
Other tutors may have additional thoughts for you.
Hah! Clearly Albuquerque is not in Indiana! I should have noted that it's in New Mexico!!
Naomi, I have a different point of view about California, probably based on where I lived there. I thought Writeacher was "right on " with the exception that in many places in CA there are gobs of child oriented activities. I know San Jose had scouts, soccer, swim, baseball, etc. teams all over the place. And way back then, kids used to "play" together, ride bikes (trikes) etc. And people took them to concerts, museums, whatever. LOL... like it or not, my boys got "cultured".
GuruBlue is right. In California or any other state, no doubt, it depends on the particular area where one lives. In California, I'd rather raise children in any of the small towns, such as Visalia or Sonora or others, rather than in a large area where the focus is on making money from retired people's interests!!
Looking around the world, it seems that even people are "disposable." There is so much violence, in homes, in schools, in the cinema, in the media which reports it. Especially in other countries children are disenfranchised; far too many live on the streets. Small wonder many children feel helpless and that life is hopeless!
Everyone needs to feel safe, have a voice, accept responsability and have accountability. Schools are endeavoring to have a "safe plan" even to the extent of having metal detectors.
When I lived in the Town of Mount Royal, on the outskirts of Montréal, Canada, there was a very active Civic Center for children. Aside from all the facilities provided, there was instruction and even movies there because of many children being trampled during a fire in a movie theater years before. Even being "foreigners" and having just moved there, neighbors made sure we knew these facilities existed. My parents were very happy, being that there were 4 children in our family.