Family court helps kids with school

Published 9:19 pm Saturday, August 6, 2016

District Judge Bob Armstrong talks to Dallas County Family Wellness Court families Wednesday. The court gave participants’ children school clothes, backpacks and supplies.

District Judge Bob Armstrong talks to Dallas County Family Wellness Court families Wednesday. The court gave participants’ children school clothes, backpacks and supplies.

The staff of the Dallas County Family Wellness Court wanted to do something to help children of people in the court get ready for school.

The court staff has worked the past several weeks to raise money for back to school clothes and supplies and presented those to 29 families Wednesday.

“This is what love looks like,” District Judge Bob Armstrong told the families, which included children of various ages. “They really do want to see y’all succeed.”

People in the Family Wellness Court are there because of dependency issues and not criminal reasons, according to director Miah Jackson.

The students were given a book bag filled with supplies based on each grade levels shopping list as well as several shirts, pairs of pants and shoes. The court tried to buy all the clothes and supplies locally, Jackson said.

“Whatever we have, it’s a blessing. It’s something they did not have to stress about getting done,” Jackson said.

Armstrong said the special day wouldn’t have been possible without Jackson’s and other staffers’ hard work and dedication.

“The stuff in the bags didn’t jump in these bags. Somebody raised money for that. People went shopping for it. They talked to store owners about helping out with the cost of it,” Armstrong told the families.

Armstrong said supporting children in their academic pursuits is essential to keeping them out of trouble.

“Poor performance in school is the No. 1 indicator for juvenile delinquency. If a child is not doing well in school at this age, the chances are really good that they will be in delinquency when they turn 13 and 14,” Armstrong said.

“It’s really important for us that children succeed so that when you hit the teenage years I don’t see you in my court.”

Armstrong has talked about a Success Center the court is working on at Hope Academy. The center will offer tutoring and other support programs to all children.