A block party Saturday in Southeast D.C. hosted by the Mayor’s administration aimed to get kids excited for school and help put more shots into arms.
This weekend marked another push to get D.C. Public School students ready for the new school year at the Woody Ward Community Center in Marshall Heights. It featured all the usual activities, games, food and supplies, and like other events this year, the underlying theme was vaccinations.
“If you’re ages 12 to 17, go inside for your vaccine!” Charon P.W. Hines, the senior advisor to the school district’s chancellor, sang into a microphone as another waived a sign that said #BacktoSchool.
Free vaccines were being offered at the recreation center with incentives to match: a $51-dollar Visa gift card and a pair of AirPods.
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After 18 months of virtual learning due to the pandemic, DCPS wants to make sure as many people are vaccinated as possible. Right now, they’re almost on target for doing that.
“It has been successful. So last weekend we saw over 100 students receive their vaccine,” Hines said.
Even those too young to get the vaccine have gotten the message about why social distancing and masks will be part of the new school year.
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“‘Cause it helps you for not catching carona,” one little boy explained, ready and eager to go back to in-person learning.
Organizers stress that the more people get vaccinated, the better the odds are that the school year won’t be interrupted again.
“We’re gonna come through this stronger and better, but it’s a little challenging,” Hines said.