Back-to-School community bash held in Cairo, Ill.

Published: Aug. 5, 2021 at 5:32 PM CDT
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CAIRO, Ill. (KFVS) - A Heartland back-to-school bash in southern Illinois gave parents and children a chance to get vaccinated before school begins.

With fun, food and school supplies for everyone, the event prepares students for in-person social learning.

Parent education supervisor Erica Brazier said it’s the 10th annual Back-to-School Bash for families within the community.

“We were trying to find a way to get as many people in the community connected to as many resources as possible,” she said.

She said the event started as a way for people within the county to have the resources they need to keep their children learning.

“Now what better way to do that than through registration,” Brazier said. “It brings out the biggest crowds and we can connect our families to things like child and family connections for children that have developmental delays. We can connect them to things like Shawnee development to help them with their lights.”

With Governor Pritzer’s recent announcement of mandatory masks for school aged children, they’re also offering a onsite vaccination clinic.

“Even if you need a physical or a dental screening, or a vaccination, and you’re not in Alexander County, you’re still welcome.”

County Treasurer and parent Maria Watkins said having these resources is great for the community but going back to in person learning should be a choice.

“I think it should be up to the individual whether or not they want to wear masks,” she said.

She said in-person learning should also be an option.

“And I just think it should still be virtual. Half virtual and half in school. I just think that kids they still need social distancing,” she said.

On Thursday, Brazier said it’s all about having fun and connecting the community.

“I want them to leave with being registered here if they’re within our county,” she said. “Second, I want them to be able to see all of the agencies and get a little piece of what they have to offer. But most importantly, I want them to have fun.”

Alexander County currently has one of the lowest COVID-19 vaccination rates in the state of Illinois.

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