Davenport Schools are teaming up to offer a support program for families facing social and economic challenges.
According to a press release from Scott County Supervisor Ken Croken, the Davenport Community School District and Iowa Legal Aid “have launched an innovative program, the first in the region, 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 help them with legal matters including housing, public benefits, violence domestic 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 down by the COVID-19 pandemic, took two years to complete, 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 children and our families. “
Jefferson Elementary was chosen as the launch site for the project because it is one of the many 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.