Back-to-school time can be expensive for families. New clothes, shoes, backpacks, and classroom supplies can put a heavy dent in parents' wallets.
That's why Hillsborough School Board Member Susan Valdes began organizing a free health fair to the public seven years ago. That tradition continues this year.
On Saturday, Aug. 18, parents and guardians can bring their children in for physicals and immunizations needed to begin the school year.
The health fair will be held at Webb Middle School, 6035 Hanley Road, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., with no cost to the public.
Valdes is happy to help alleviate one important, and sometimes expensive, requirement for students returning to school.
“Prior to becoming a board member, I worked in the medical industry as an administrator in the Town N' Country area," Valdes said. "This was a need in which I noted needed to be addressed. This is a result of a campaign promise I made to the community to address this need in my district."
At the health fair, local doctors donate their time to provide physicals and nurses administer vaccinations to meet the requirements for students to enroll.
Students enrolled in Hillsborough County's public schools and universities are required to show proof of specific immunizations, primarily before kindergarten, fifth and seventh grades, and college enrollment.
The Health Fair will not only provide these free vaccinations to school-age children, but a fun carnival-like atmosphere with popcorn, snow cones, cotton candy and other activities. Onsite resources will include KidCare and Adult Technical programs available to the community.
“We brought my nieces last year,” said Town N' Country resident Meghan Kelley. “Though, of course, no one ever looks forward to shots, they also have fun stuff for the kids to do afterwards.”
Book bags will also be presented to the children with supplies included.
“It offers everything under one roof. It’s a help for parents needing shots, especially those new to the area or those who waited until the last minute and can’t get an appointment at the doctor’s office," said Webb Middle School assistant principal Bernadette Washington. “There is definitely a convenience factor, plus they make it fun for kids.”
Want to go?
Back-To-School Health Fair
When: Saturday, Aug. 18
Where: Webb Middle School, 6035 Hanley Road, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Free.