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Vancouver schools offer free shots, vision checks at Go Ready

By , Columbian Education Reporter
Published:
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Vancouver Public Schools students can get free haircuts, clothing, shoes, immunizations and more, and their families can learn about resources available to them at the Go Ready festival from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday at Hudson's Bay High School.
Vancouver Public Schools students can get free haircuts, clothing, shoes, immunizations and more, and their families can learn about resources available to them at the Go Ready festival from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday at Hudson's Bay High School. (Columbian files) Photo Gallery

Vancouver Public Schools students and their families can receive free immunizations and vision screenings, haircuts, used clothing and more at Go Ready, the district’s third annual back-to-school-readiness festival from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday at Hudson’s Bay High School, 1601 E. McLoughlin Blvd.

The free event also features lunch, entertainment and kid-friendly activities and prizes. More than 60 community partners will provide information about early learning, counseling, health care, housing and other services.

Organized by the district’s network of Family-Community Resource Centers, the event serves the district’s students who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals. More than 51 percent of the district’s students qualify for free or reduced-price meals. Eligibility for subsidized meals is one federal indicator of poverty, which can affect readiness to learn.

At the first event in 2014, families started lining up by 7 a.m. The event organizers were not prepared for the enormous response. An estimated 2,100 people — district students and their family members — stood in line in the heat waiting to enter the venue.

“We planned for only 500, but we had 2,000 people,” said Alishia Topper, the district’s director of strategic partnerships, who helped organize the event.

If You Go

 Who: Vancouver Public Schools students and their families.

• What: Go Ready back-to-school-readiness festival offers free immunizations, vision screening, haircuts, used clothing and information about community resources.

 When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday.

 Where: Hudson’s Bay High School, 1601 E. McLoughlin Blvd., Vancouver.

• Cost: Free.

 Learn more: http://vansd.org/events/goready.

That first year, they ran out of donated items. Last year, organizers moved the event to Hudson’s Bay High School, which is larger. More than 1,700 people were assisted.

“After the first year we launched this, we got calls from districts in other states that wanted to know about how we organized the event,” Topper said.

Donated school supplies will not be distributed at this event. Instead, they will be distributed at each school.

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