PASADENA – Healthy bodies equal a healthy mind, or at least that’s what federal officials said Thursday when they released the names of schools across the nation that will receive portions of a $200 million grant to build school health clinics.
The effort led by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius will deliver dollars from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as the health care reform law, to schools in the San Gabriel Valley.
“These grants make it a heck of a lot easier for working moms and dads to get their children the health care they need,” Duncan said.
Duncan pointed to his experience with school-based health centers and their effect on student performance.
“I saw first-hand in Chicago – where 85 percent of our kids lived below the poverty line – the need for school-based health care centers,” Duncan said.
After adopting the centers, “grades went up, attendance went up,” he said.
Pasadena Unified, Rowland Unified and El Monte City school districts already have health centers.
El Monte received money, but Pasadena and Rowland did not.
El Monte will use the approximately $115,000 it received to expand programming at its school-based health centers, according to district officials.
“It will allow us to open up two new sites for services at Gidley and Durfee-Thompson schools,” said Mary Borja, health