October 19, 2022

Sneakers on the Scene: Back-to-School Events Boost Vaccine Education and Access

Learn how Healthier Generation teamed up with communities in North Carolina to boost vaccine awareness during back-to-school time.

Sneakers on the Scene: Shauvon Simmons-Wright, director of special projects, represented Healthier Generation at Back-to-School events in Robeson and Bertie Counties.

Over the course of eight months, Healthier Generation has partnered with Robeson and Bertie Counties in North Carolina to increase vaccination rates for school-aged youth. While building a partnership with local school districts, health departments, and community organizations, we realized that vaccination rates for school-aged youth were lower than average based on surrounding counties in the state. To address this gap, we teamed up with Public Schools of Robeson County and Bertie County Schools to provide vaccine information to students and families at two back-to-school events in August.  

The first event was held on August 13 at Briggs Park Mall. Public Schools of Robeson County collaborated with regional and local community partners and educational institutions to host the event. Registered school nurses set up an immunization assessment station that allowed families to check their students’ status.

To ensure that families visited multiple stations at the Back-to-School event, attendees were encouraged to collect stamps from each station to be entered into a drawing for giveaways.
Dr. Connie Locklear, director of the Indian Education Program for the Public Schools of Robeson County, provided vaccine information for Native American communities.

Families were able to schedule a vaccination appointment on the spot with Robeson Health Care’s Mobile Clinic or the Robeson County Health Department to ensure their student caught up on any missed vaccinations before the September 30 immunization deadline.

NC Healthier Together and Healthier Generation also shared a station at the event. NC Healthier Together passed out PPE (personal protective equipment) items, and we distributed surveys to assess vaccine confidence and access.

On August 25, Bertie County Schools hosted a similar event, teaming up with Albemarle Regional Health Department, A Better Chance A Better Community (ABC2), NC Healthier Together, Healthier Generation, community partners, and local higher education institutions.

Volunteers oversaw a variety of stations at the event.

Albemarle Regional Health Services nurses offered an immunization assessment station that allowed families to check their student’s immunization status and schedule vaccination appointments with the Bertie County Health Department. They also shared healthy food resource guides and other health-related informational materials.

Many community partners contributed to the success of the event.

ABC2 offered multiple stations, and worked with Ottendorf Laboratories to offer COVID-19 testing and vaccinations for youth and families. ABC2 also provided transportation from West Bertie Elementary to the event, along with a DJ and jazz musician to provide music for a fun-filled event.

We are excited to continue to partner with these organizations to increase vaccine confidence and access for school-aged youth and their families.

Explore our vaccine resource hub to learn more about how you can help protect children from vaccine-preventable diseases.

Shauvon Simmons-Wright

Director, Special Projects | Alliance for a Healthier Generation