1 in 4 children living in the rural U.S. grows up in poverty. As a result, it keeps them from getting the health care that they need. Through a partnership with Children’s Health Fund, Red Nose Day was able to fund the Le Bonheur mobile clinic which helps bring medical assistance to those in need. Developed in partnership with NBC News Learn. For additional videos and lesson plans visit www.RedNoseDayInSchool.org
Child Poverty -- Supporting Children in Need in Rural Tennessee
SAVANNAH SELLERS, correspondent:
Red Nose Day funds programs that keep children in need safe, healthy, and educated. Hundreds of programs are funded by Red Nose Day to end child poverty in America and around the world. This is one story from Tennessee.
BROOKE SMITH (Teacher, Trenton Middle School): Trenton is a really small town, west Tennessee town. I guess what you think of as a small Southern town, that’s what we are.
LISA DYER (Le Bonheur Community Outreach): Unemployment rates are high in this area. We’ve got a lower rate of college education. So, I think the lower level of education, and the single parents' lack of opportunity for employment are very crucial here. Their parents aren't working. And it keeps them from getting the health care that they need.
SMITH: Kids are the most vulnerable population we have. They have no control over how much money comes into their house. They have no control over whether or not they do things like see a doctor or have those nutritious foods or clothes that fit them. I had a student, a young man. I knew that when he went home he sometimes had supper and sometimes did not.
You know, if those kids don't have supper, they're not getting the medical care that they need. And so the Le Bonheur mobile clinic, when they come, they're serving those kids. They're being able to give those kids a shot at something that they wouldn't have otherwise through no fault of their own.
DR. CYNTHIA CROSS, (Le Bonheur Mobile Health Services): On the mobile unit we take care of children who are at school, may be seeing us for physicals, other times seeing us for an acute problem, such as a sore throat, or an asthma flare, belly pain, different kinds of childhood things.
SMITH: That's why something like the mobile clinic would be important for those students. so that they could have those small things not turn into large medical issues for them that would cause them discomfort, or to miss school, or to suffer in any way.
KARLA (Mobile Medical Patient): My name is Karla and I'm 11 years old.
DYER: They arrive. Whoever is doing the charting for the day, they will introduce themselves, kind of explain that we're here to do just a well child exam on them and what we're going to do. They do height, weight, blood pressure, temperature, check their oxygen levels.
KARLA: The people on the bus are really nice to me.
DR. CROSS: It almost doesn't feel as if you're going to the doctor. It feels more like you're maybe going to see your friend on the big, colorful bus outside.
ZACHARY (Karla’s Father): I'm glad that she can get a medical assistance here. I'm not always around, I have to work a lot. And the times I can't take her, it's good to know that there's people that come here that go ahead and do that kind of stuff.
DYER: Hopefully, they lose some of the fear of going to a medical visit and just kind of realize that we're people and that we're there to care for them, and that’s-- that is what we want do.
KARLA: After I leave the bus, I feel good.
ZACHARY: The people on the bus, I really appreciate what they do.