Note: As of July 1, 2007, Covering Kids & Families has closed. For current information about the uninsured in America, please visit RWJF Coverage.
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You and your children may be eligible for low-cost or free health insurance! Programs exist in every state and the District of Columbia. For information about low-cost and free children's health coverage, visit For information on coverage for adults, read the Guides to Finding Health Insurance Coverage in Your State from Cover the Uninsured.

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Building Partnerships
School-Based Outreach: Getting Started

Related Materials

Document Type Template Drop-In Article for School Newsletter
Distribute this template drop-in article to schools to include in their newsletters.
File size: 29.7KB

Document Type Letter to Recruit School Administrators
Use this letter to introduce yourself and the Covering Kids & Families initiative to school principals or other officials.
File size: 34.3KB

Updated: 8.7.06      Printable Printable version

Understanding the landscape is an important first step.

Become familiar with your school community's academic calendar. Research the start and end dates for traditional schools, year-round schools and summer school programs, and note important meetings, parent-teacher conference and school event dates that could provide opportunities to reach parents.

Research school resources. Schools vary tremendously in the ways they interact with families. They may have health clinics, nutrition specialists or parent liaison programs where school staff work directly with parents. Find out what groups provide the best avenue through which to implement your outreach strategy.

Research financial and other benefits to schools. Check with your state's education and health agencies to find out if local schools qualify for Medicaid Administrative Claiming (MAC) funding for outreach and training activities.

Identify a children's health care champion. Recruit an educator, principal, school nurse, School Lunch Program staffer or parent who knows the school and school system and can introduce you to key decision-makers. Work cooperatively to gain the support of leaders within the school district, such as the superintendent or the director of school nurses.

Think beyond the local elementary school. Consider including middle and high schools, preschools, day care centers, vocational/trade schools, private schools (including those of faith) and adult education classes in your outreach efforts.

Use available data to target low-income school districts. Work with your state Medicaid office to obtain data on areas in your state with a high number of potentially eligible children. Contact your local School Lunch Program office to see if they have data on the school districts with a high number of children enrolled in their program.

Engage school-based organizations and leaders in your coalition. Once you have identified key decision-makers, invite them to your coalition meeting to discuss what they can do to help enroll children in Medicaid and SCHIP. Explain that many children in your state lack health care coverage, and that there are health and educational consequences. Participants might include:

Tools for Making the Pitch

There are several tools available to assist you in explaining the outreach opportunities available to school-based organizations and leaders. The following tools can be downloaded or ordered from the Covering Kids & Families Web site:

Template Letter to School Administrators or Organizations - Customize this letter to send to school-based organizations, school administrators and other education leaders inviting them to join your coalition and support your school-based outreach efforts.

PowerPoint Presentation - This template PowerPoint can be used to explain the benefits of participating in Covering Kids & Families outreach efforts.

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