A new community initiative kicked of this week for Jefferson County Public School students with the hope of giving those students just that, a chance to have it all.
Dr. James Slaughter III
According to the Kentucky Health Coalition, about half of Kentucky's children had decay in their primary teeth.
Councilman David James
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - There's a proverb that goes: He who has health has hope. He who has hope has everything. A new community initiative kicked of this week for Jefferson County Public School students with the hope of giving those students just that, a chance to have it all.
First Year University of Louisville Pediatric Dental resident Dr. James Slaughter III explained what it means to him to be part of the CARE for Kids initiative, "I wish that I could wave a wand and everybody would have all that they need.
We all understand there is no magic wand but the magic of this collaboration is how much everyone is willing to give.
"What we can do is provide the best service, care for every child that walks through that door. As a provider and also a father, when I see these kid I see my own," Slaughter explained.
The program will do it's best to insure our children have healthy smiles, healthy eyes, healthy habits and bright futures. If you look at the health of Kentuckiana‘s children, you will see major medical factors that affect their ability to do well in school. According to the Kentucky Health Coalition, about half of Kentucky's children had decay in their primary teeth. One out of four children has vision problems that impact their ability to learn in school. Often times their parents are not aware of the problems.
As Dr. Greenwell from the University of Louisville's School of Dentistry explained, "We just have to start with the children and educating. Make sure they have better health and work from the ground up."
CARE for Kids goal is to do just that. It will give Jefferson County Elementary School children oral, vision, and health screening, follow up dental care, eye exams, glasses and nutritional counseling hopefully giving them a better chance in the classroom and in life.
Councilman David James shared his thoughts and some troubling statics, "If a child by third grade doesn't have good reading skills then they're gonna have challenges throughout their lives. If we can make sure our kids in school can see then it improves they're ability to learn. Helps equalize the playing field for everybody and it lifts them up."
There is no cost to those whose insurance won't pick up the bill. There is no charge at all just care.
"We have this same problem in many schools throughout our city and I'd like to see this whole idea expand so we can really help our kids and that's the most important thing," James said passionately.
CARE for Kids is a joint effort between Kosair Charities, University of Louisville Dentistry School, The Lyon's Club, Council people; David James, Marianne Butler, Tom Owen, David Tandy and Council President Jim King and Michelle James. Yum Brands! also stepped in to make a significant donation to the program. There has also been a huge effort to support Wheatley Elementary, the first school in the program. CARE for Kids is still in need of securing funds for all the tiny little pair of glasses that may be needed.