Educators and health officials have dedicated a center at Sheridan Way Elementary School in Ventura that provides free and low-cost medical care, counseling and other social services.
The Family Center at Sheridan Way offers an array of nonacademic services to students and their families, said Principal Trudy Tuttle-Arriaga.
Besides free physicals, vaccinations and other nonemergency medical care, the center, dedicated last week, provides marriage counseling, support for victims of domestic violence and classes in English as a second language.
A $400,000 state grant aimed at placing support services for students and their families directly at school sites will pay for the first three years of operation, Tuttle-Arriaga said.
Sheridan Way, at 573 Sheridan Way, qualified for the grant because 99% of its 500 students live in poverty, she said. School officials converted an old classroom into a 900-square-foot conference room and medical clinic, said Susan Eberhart, coordinator of the program.
"We've let everyone know what's here," Eberhart said. "Now we are working hard at developing an environment where people are comfortable coming for help."