Following a year of pandemic disruption and uncertainty, Clayton Early Learning teamed up with Denver Health’s mobile clinic to host two, two-day COVID19 vaccine clinics on the Clayton campus. The mobile health clinics are focused on bringing the vaccine directly into communities that have been hit particularly hard by the virus by reducing barriers such as misinformation, lack of trust, localized availability and transportation, and the technology needed to access appointments.
All told, the clinics on the Clayton campus vaccinated more than 450 eligible people including Clayton’s own teachers and staff, educators from the neighboring area, and other at-risk individuals from within the Clayton community. The Center for African American Health provided additional community outreach to increase availability to Clayton’s northeast Denver neighbors who may otherwise have experienced difficulty accessing the vaccine.
Throughout the pandemic, Clayton has taken a multi-faceted approach to providing critical wrap-around services to 500 children and their families, including extensive emergency food distribution, a rigorous set of health and safety protocols that kept the Educare Denver school open since June 1st, and in partnership with COVIDCheck Colorado, the state’s first ongoing COVID testing program designed specifically for an early learning community. In combination with the recent vaccination clinics, Clayton has created a safe and supportive environment that allowed children to come back to school so their parents could get back to work.
“If the childcare workforce doesn’t work, no one else can,” commented Becky Crowe, president and CEO of Clayton Early Learning. “Equitable access to the vaccine is critically important to our community’s economic recovery, and of course to the health and safety of our educators, as well as the confidence of our parents who send their children to us every day. We are so grateful for our partners at Denver Health who worked tirelessly to bring the vaccine directly to our Clayton community.”
Madison Stacy, a lead teacher at Clayton, was among the first of the organization’s essential frontline workers to sign-up for the vaccine clinic. “I was super anxious and nervous but excited because this has been a long time coming,” Stacy said. “Getting vaccinated, it’s a big opportunity for me to help my community, and it feels good to know I’m doing my part to protect the kids and families that we work with.”
Alongside staff, family members of Clayton enrolled children also took advantage of the opportunity. Vanessa Davis Robinson initially had some reservations about the vaccine, but with guidance from her physician, she decided to do her part to keep her family and her community safe and opted for the vaccine. Given quick and easy access on the Clayton campus where her three-year-old granddaughter attends preschool, made the decision an easy one to make and follow through.
“I am thankful for Clayton Early Learning taking care of our community,” Davis Robinson said. I was elated when I received an email that Clayton was partnering with Denver Health and the Center for African American Health to offer the vaccine. It’s so important for my family, and our extended Clayton family.”