Leland and Gray and Community Partners Provide Dental Care and Clothing

August 29, 2013

Contact: Dorinne Dorfman, Principal

ddorfman@lelandandgray.org

802.365.7355

Starting this fall, Leland and Gray students who need dental care can sign-up with the school nurse for appointments at West River Valley Family Dental. This increased access to health care grew out of six months of planning and meetings, led by the members of the Whole-Child Committee, which includes L&G and Windham Central faculty and staff. The committee is deeply grateful to Dr. Jared Rediske and his staff for serving approximately fifteen students each month, who otherwise would not have access to cleanings and treatment.

Many students from low-income backgrounds are eligible for Dr. Dynasaur, Vermont’s children health care program. The principal of Leland and Gray, Dorinne Dorfman, is committed to filling any shortfalls through donations and grant funds. “In every school where I’ve worked, as time went by, I watched students’ teeth decay. Getting braces was once a necessary burden; today it’s become a privilege for the lucky. The lifelong impact of dental health, from one’s appearance to chronic health problems, drove the Whole-Child Committee to meet the need.”

 

A school team visited Mount Anthony Union High School in Bennington, which built a student health center to include offices for a doctor and dentist. Mt. Anthony’s principal, Sue Maguire, spent much time sharing her vision of full-service schools that address all the barriers interfering with student learning. With much of the country still in the throes of the Great Recession, public schools from coast to coast are finding ways to provide low-income students health care and other supports that families struggle to give.

In addition to dental care, Leland and Gray is copying another program from Mt. Anthony, a clothing and shoes closet for students. When polled, L&G teachers reported an increase of students in need of winter coats and footwear suitable for each Vermont season. The planning room staff, Jeremiah Burrow and Nika Oakes, will collect, clean, and discreetly show students what becomes available. Community donations will fuel this effort. To make a donation, please contact Nika at 365-7355 or noakes@lelandandgray.org.