211 aims to keep parents, students informed

Parents and students will soon have another way to find resources in Moffat County.

This year, First Call United Way 211 distributed information to students' homes about the services provided in the county.

The information packets include resources in the area about tutoring, mentoring programs and drug programs, among others.

"What's great about these is there is English on one side and Spanish on the other," 211 Program Manager Linda Ekblad said. "What we're really trying to do is get people to call so we can assess their needs individually."

First Call United Way 211 is a national organization that helps communities connect with available resources in their respective areas.

There are seven call centers in Colorado.

Routt and Moffat counties began receiving the 211 services in September 2004.

The information from 211 not only will be an asset to students and parents, but also to teachers and counselors, Ekblad said.

Ekblad said the organization sent information packets to schools in Larimer County and the results and feedback have all been positive.

In addition to Moffat County, the packets were sent to Routt and Jackson Counties.

Among the three counties, Ekblad said the agency sent more than 6,500 packets with 3,000 being sent in Moffat County alone.

The service, Ekblad said, is available free and confidential to the public.

When Ekblad approached the school districts about putting information into back-to-school packets, she said administrators were very responsive.

"They were very positive," she said. "They thought it was a great idea. All schools in the school district have been very helpful with us."

Vicki Duncan, secretary to Superintendent Pete Bergmann, said the school district always looks for ways to help students and their families find resources.

"We support getting Moffat County service numbers out to the public," she said. "I hope it gives (students and teachers) another avenue."

Ekblad anticipates sending out a second list of numbers and information to students in December.

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