PROVIDENCE, R.I (WPRI) — With Rhode Island students just weeks away from heading back to the classroom, Providence teachers are doing what they can to help them prepare for the upcoming school year.
The Providence Teachers Union hosted an event Wednesday for families who are preparing to send their kids back to school after more than a year of distance learning.
The fair-like event, held at Woods Elementary School, was complete with bouncy houses and cotton candy. It also included a vaccination clinic.
Vaccines were offered to any eligible person in attendance, with some students opting to get vaccinated before the school year starts.
Thousands of free books were also available for incoming students.
Data recently released from the R.I. Department of Health reveals 10% of children between the ages of 12 and 14 are fully vaccinated, as compared to 53% of teenagers between the ages 15 and 18.
There is potential for that percentage to increase, according to the Providence Teachers Union. Jeremy Spencer, vice president at large of the Providence Teachers Union, believes parents are looking for more opportunities to get their kids vaccinated, especially with the Pfizer vaccine receiving full federal approval.
“They want their children the opportunities to get vaccinated,” Spencer said. “I think the things we know – distancing, contact tracing, masks, vaccinations – it’s kind of where parents and families are … if we do those things we, can give our kids the best opportunity to get back in school.”