Bayles Elementary School Project
This school is a wonderful match for DCMSAF sponsorship. The Medical Alliance has a history of being first of the medical alliances in the nation; Bayles Elementary is considered the first school in the Dallas Settlement. This is a new project for our organization and one that offers many opportunities for service: tutoring for Reading Partners, mentoring children, providing immunizations and other health services and delivering nutritional information for students and parents. We will also be able to enact some of the Texas Medical Association programs such as Walk with a Doc and Hard Hats for Little Heads.
This inaugural year of the project with the limitations placed on the schools and volunteers because of COVID -19, the Medical Alliance Foundation chose to fully fund the school’s wish to provide the students from pre-K through 5th grade with outstanding virtual tours. The program brings highly entertaining and enriching experiences with visits to museums on natural history, paleontology, and sea animals and tours on shark training, puppetry arts, and living the dream as an astronaut.
This school has grown substantially over the last century and a half, but it had a colorful and interesting beginning. About the year 1856 in the eastern part of Dallas County, W.C. Hunnicutt founded what was probably the first school in the settlement of Dallas. The first students that attended this school were from the Ferguson, Hunnicutt, and Rupard families. Tuition paid by the students provided the $6.07 salary for the teacher. The Motley children were provided a trail when their father plowed a furrow through the woods for the children to follow. The school continued at the location in the eastern part of Dallas County until the year 1870, when a team of mules was hitched to the building and pulled it to what is now the west side of Lotti Road, near the old Bayles home. The name was changed to Bayles at that time.
The school, pre-K through 5th grade, now has over 600 students and is almost entirely minority. Over 40% have limited English proficiency. The Ferguson Road Initiative has garnered a lot of neighborhood attention for the school. It will be a pleasure to work with its faculty and students in an area not so far from our Swiss Avenue headquarters.
Home Base for Providing Health Education and Services
The Aldredge House is the Alliance’s home—a base from which they provide Dallas with health education and services. Programs and areas of interest change with the requests received for time, services and resources.
In recent years partnering with other reputable programs—and providing resources and experienced volunteers, including physicians, to them—has been an effective way to maximize impact. These programs are usually presented in the neighborhoods they serve.
With an RN who is passionate about the need for immunization as the chair of this new partnership with Dallas Independent School District, the pandemic was a major blow to plans. The pop-up clinics to serve Dallas high schools planned to maximize access for medical professionals had to be put on hold until some of the COVID restrictions are lifted and the students presence at the schools is increased. The object of the project is to provide shots for meningococcal meningitis, a requirement for junior class students planning to take advanced classes on college campuses or for seniors preparing for college or the military.
Tune in next year!!
Other Community Outreach
In addition to the DCMSAF Outreach Projects, Alliance members – doctors and lay volunteers –support outreach around the community.
Included in recent years:
-Joined forces with The Thanks-Giving Foundation Covid-19 initiative “Serving Up Gratitude,” coordinating the purchase of thousands of meals from local restaurants to be delivered to healthcare workers in ED, ICU and Covid Units.
-Participated in providing and fitting bicycle helmets for children as a part of the Church of the Incarnation Community Health Fair
-Conducted annual sports physicals for North Dallas High School students in May and, along with other partners, for East Dallas and South Dallas communities in August at Incarnation House.
-Supported Woodrow Wilson High School students in their preparation of lunches for the homeless.
-Provided and fit bike helmets for students at Caesar Chavez Learning Center
-Provided bikes and fit bike helmets for students for Garland Head Start.