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United Way Grant Funds Health Initiative for At-Risk Kids

A new grant is targeting the health of two Orlando inner city middle schools. The 144-thousand dollar grant will allow three areas agencies to improve the lives of hundreds of kids by focusing on health.

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[Orlando Health's Teen Xpress mobile clinic]

It’s big, and outfitted with some pretty cool graphics.  No doubt it’s impressive when it pulls up on campus. The Teen Xpress is Orlando Health’s contribution to a new collaboration that includes the Heart of Florida United Way and Orlando After School All Stars. The three agencies have teamed up to help at-risk kids at become more successful. Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer says the program is specific to Carver and Memorial Middle school.

“Certainly we went into two of the schools, middle schools that have the most at-risk children, I think in both schools, if not 100-percent then 99-percent of the children are on free and reduced lunch, ” says Dyer.

Carver and Memorial are rated as D and C schools.  Students will receive mentoring and academic support. But they’ll also receive free health care from the Teen Xpress- and if they need nutrition or mental health counseling- the mobile clinic can provide that too. Organizers say studies have shown that providing this kind of comprehensive support can have a big impact on a child’s success rate.


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