KCUR: Kansas City School District Families Say They Are Eager For In-Person Classes To Begin
By Jamie Jiang
At its fifth annual Summerfest, the Kansas City Public Schools distributed backpacks filled with school supplies and offered health services to families in the district. Like last year’s event, it was a drive-through format to mitigate the spread of coronavirus.
Superintendent Mark Bedell said the parents he met were excited about sending their kids to in-person school this year.
Summerfest drew thousands of parents who took advantage of free school supplies, immunization clinics, physicals and COVID-19 vaccinations. Just around 2,500 people registered for the event, but many unregistered families pulled up to get backpacks too, said KCPS spokeswoman Elle Moxley.
Swope Health Services, Children’s Mercy, Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center, Truman Medical Center, the Kansas City Health Department and the KC Care Clinic offered services in the parking lot near the drive-through.
“It's really been wonderful,” said Children’s Mercy physician Dr. Jeffrey D. Colvin, who had been performing sports physicals. “There's an extreme amount of diversity that we've seen today.”
Margo Quiriconi, director of Community Health Initiatives at Children’s Mercy, said the best part of Summerfest is the outreach — getting to serve more members of the community than they usually do.
“We've seen a number of kids that haven't been to their provider for the American Academy of Pediatrics-suggested visits, and some are behind in their immunizations,” Quiriconi said.
“We know it's been so difficult for families,” she said. “We want to surround them with the type of services and expertise they need, so that we can get kids back into school healthy and strong.”
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