A middle school partnering with United Way to help students hopes to connect services and support to those who are at risk.
At Kathleen Middle School in Lakeland Florida, discovering the personal needs of each student and their family will enable the school to connect them to services that they need. Some of the help could include job training, tutoring, mentoring, help paying a utility bill, health care, and more.
“There’s a lot of academic support in the school system, but we’re adding to the holistic support,” said Penny Borgia, chief academic officer of United Way of Central Florida.
Kathleen Middle School is piloting the United Way of Central Florida’s Early Warning and Response System in Polk County. They hope to show that extra support extending beyond academics helps students stay in school and graduate.
For example, the program could help a student who has no way to get to school of he misses the bus, or who has no light to study by after sunset. The program could also help a parent who needs to find a better job so they can afford stable housing in one place.