Title-I schools receive funding from the U.S. Department of Education to help bridge the gap between kids in low-income families and other students. Caroline Moreno is the Director of Health and Income at United Way of Salt Lake. She says poor oral health is one of the biggest barriers to regular school attendance with at risk-youth.
“So this partnership is really an effort to bring agencies and organizations together who are already providing dental services and merging all of our work together to really target under-served populations,” says Moreno.
She says a $200,000 dollar grant from IHC helped United Way pull the groups together to bring the clinics into the schools after hours.
“Partnerships are never easy, (laugh) but they’re very often worthwhile," says Moreno. "It’s take a lot of work, and a lot of meetings, and a lot of just making sure all those details are in place, but it’s so worth it.”
Moreno says the program is designed to be sustainable in the long term but part of that plan includes continued fundraising.