Wyatt Academy in Denver creates program to support families

Wyatt Academy launched the Wyatt Family Benefits program which provides free health and wellness services during the school year.

DENVER — Wyatt Academy, a public charter school serving the Denver community, has launched an addition to its empowerment center called Wyatt Family Benefits. The new benefits program offers free resources ranging from health and wellness services, as well as access to an attorney at discounted rates.

The school said that through a partnership with an anonymous local donor, participating families have access to benefits for the duration of the 2022-2023 school year.

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“It’s all part of our vision to truly serve our community,” said Kate Silverman, director of development at Wyatt Academy. “We believe in removing any barriers that make it difficult for a family to participate or be part of the school culture.”

The K-5 school established the Empowerment Center in 2018 with the goal of providing free services like a clothing store, pantry, laundry, and computer lab to support their families in need. Silverman said on average they see 150 families each week.

“We’re not just supporting the Wyatt families, but the community as a whole,” Silverman said. “We have heard loud and clear time and time again about the rising costs of caring for a family and raising children today. It’s expensive, and it’s getting more and more expensive, so how can we really come together as a community to work to support our families in these difficult times.

The new benefits program offers access to telemedicine, discounts on dental care, savings on legal advice and deep discounts on a range of health services and medical devices. These benefits complement the free resources provided by the Empowerment Center.

It’s a program that Marlin Fleites, parent and Wyatt Academy volunteer, thinks is important. Her 6-year-old daughter, Esmeralda, is a student at the school, so she has enrolled her whole family in the program.

“This project is awesome…. we are able to access a doctor 24/7,” Fleites said. “We are automatically qualified. We can use it, and it’s a different category of general care, something that many of us may not have, because it’s important for our students to strive, but also their families, and for that to happen, we need to be healthy.”

Wyatt Family Benefits is also an idea born out of the school’s partnership with Welcome Technologies, a digital platform that creates data-driven services for immigrant communities. Families now have free access to telemedicine 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in English and Spanish, which Silverman says is essential.

“We serve a majority minority community that is entitled to a free and reduced price lunch,” Silverman said. “We know a lot of our families are either underinsured or uninsured, so this is one way for us to really step in and address that need.”

The school’s mission is to ensure that all of their families and the community feel supported in a neighborhood they have served for over a century.

“Wyatt has stood in this community since 1898,” Silverman said. “Through many changes along the way, one thing that has never changed is the power of community.”

For more information on the Wyatt Family Empowerment Center, click here: https://www.wyattacademy.org/empowerment-center.

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Ryan H. Bowman