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Denver school creates benefits program to support families

Wyatt Academy launched the Wyatt Family Benefits program that provides health and wellness services at no cost during the school year.

DENVER — Wyatt Academy, a public charter school serving the Denver community, launched an addition to their Empowerment Center called the Wyatt Family Benefits. The new benefits program offers no-cost resources ranging from healthcare and wellness services, along with access to legal counsel at discounted rates. 

The school said 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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“All of this is part of our vision for truly serving our community,” Wyatt Academy Development Director Kate Silverman said. “We believe in breaking down any barriers that make it challenging for a family to participate or to be part of the school culture.”

Credit: Byron Reed
Wyatt Academy's Development Director Kate Silverman said, "We know that healthcare and insurance in our country is somewhat of a crisis at this time, and so this is a way to really support our families."

The K-5 school created the Empowerment Center in 2018 with the goal of offering no-cost services like a clothing boutique, food pantry, laundromat, and computer lab to support their families in need. Silverman said, on average, they see 150 families every week.

Credit: Byron Reed
Wyatt Academy Empowerment Center

“We not only support Wyatt families but the community at large,” Silverman said. “We heard loud and clear over and over about the rising cost in taking care of a family and raising children today. It’s expensive, and it’s getting more expensive, and so how can we really come together as a community to work to support our families through these challenging times.”

Credit: Byron Reed
Wyatt Family Benefits offers medical and wellness services to families at no-cost.

The new benefits program offers access to telemedicine, dental discounts, savings on legal counsel, and significant discounts on a range of health services and medical devices. These benefits supplement the free resources delivered by the Empowerment Center. 

It’s a program that Wyatt Academy parent and volunteer Marlin Fleites feels is important. Her 6-year-old daughter, Esmeralda, is a student at the school, so she signed her entire family up for the program.

Credit: Byron Reed
Wyatt Academy parent and volunteer Marlin Fleites said, "This is something that we’re wanting to do long-term so that we could see other children and future generations grow and be motivated."

“This plan is great…. we’re able to access a doctor 24-7,” Fleites said. “We’re automatically qualified. We’re able to use it, and it’s a different category of general care, something that a lot of us might not have, because it is important that our students strive but also their families and in order to have that happen, we have to be healthy.”

Wyatt Family Benefits is also an idea sparked from the school’s partnership with Welcome Technologies — a digital platform that builds data-driven services for immigrant communities. Families now have no-cost access to telehealth medicine 24 hours a day, seven days a week in both English and Spanish, which Silverman said is critical.

Credit: Byron Reed
Wyatt Academy

“We serve a predominately minority community that does qualify for free and reduced lunch,” Silverman said. “We know that many of our families are either underinsured or not insured, so this is a way that we can really step in and meet that need.”

The school’s mission is to make sure all their families and community feels supported in a neighborhood they’ve been serving for over a century.

“Wyatt’s been standing tall in this community since 1898,” Silverman said. “Through many changes along the way, one thing that has never change is the power of community.”

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

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