It wasn’t until 8-year-old Yessenia stepped into the mobile dental bus that her family and teachers realized why she was having such a hard time focusing – not just in school but also at home. After years of inadequate access to dental care, Yessenia had developed severe dental issues … the pain was so significant that she couldn’t even brush her teeth. It impacted her ability to eat well, sleep well, and pay attention at school and at home.
But with the Community Partnership School at Sabal Palm Elementary, Yessenia was able to finally receive dental care – at no cost – through a partnership with Bond Community Health, which provides students with free preventative dental care where it’s most convenient – right on site at the school. Yessenia certainly isn’t alone; 25.1% of Florida third graders suffer from untreated tooth decay, making it the most common chronic disease among children and adolescents.
As a core component of the Community Partnership Schools model is to provide students with access to health care – including dental care – Yessenia and dozens of her classmates are receiving the support and services they need to overcome challenges that once stood in the way of learning. Now, Yessenia’s focus has improved, she’s learning healthy habits, and she’s an attentive student eager to participate.
Sabal Palm Elementary, A Community Partnership School brings together high-quality academics, health care, counseling, support, mentoring and more—all where students and their families are comfortable: in their own school. Core partners include Children’s Home Society of Florida, Leon County Schools, FAMU and FSU Primary Health. Questions? More information? Please contact Anna-Kay Hutchison, Community Partnership School Director.