Davenport schools partner to offer program to assist families dealing with social and economic challenges.
According to a news release from Scott County Supervisor Ken Croken, the Davenport Community School District and Iowa Legal Aid “have launched an innovative, first-in-the-region program designed to address the impact of poverty on children in schools.”
An on-site legal aid clinic at Jefferson Elementary School connects families with Iowa Legal Aid attorneys, who will assist with legal issues, including housing, public benefits and domestic violence and other family law matters. The program also helps with non-legal resources, including rent and utility assistance, food resources and behavioral health services
The program, slowed by the COVID-19 pandemic, has taken two years to finish, but Jefferson School Principal Kami Montoya said the time is right as students resume in-person learning. “We’ve never had a tool like this program,” Montoya said. “Having a dedicated partner like Iowa Legal Aid is a game-changer for our school, our kids and our families.”
Jefferson Elementary was chosen as the launch site for the project because it is one of several schools in Scott County with a high percentage of families living in poverty. Plans are to expand the project to other schools in Davenport and elsewhere. Jefferson Elementary School is located at 1027 North Marquette Street in Davenport.