Nystrom students receive school supplies and health education before they return to campus

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School officials and community volunteers distributed backpacks, supplies and health education at Nystrom Elementary School on Saturday April 10, before WCCUSD schools reopened on April 19. (All photos by Mike Kinney)

By Mike Kinney

With in-person learning scheduled to resume on April 19, community leaders joined volunteer health workers on Saturday to provide 100 backpacks and other school supplies to students at Nystrom Elementary School in Richmond, as well as education on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Members of the nonprofit Simple Aid for Families Requiring Ordinary Needs, Inc. (SAFFRON) were joined by Rev. Andre Shumake, site coordinator and school outreach officer for the WCCUSD Mafanikio School Coaching Program at the Nystrom Elementary School Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia and School Board Member WCCUSD Otheree Christian at the giveaway event at 240 Harbor Way South.

Community activist Antwon Clorid helped coordinate the event for SAFFRON Founder and CEO Tracy Miller with Reverend Shumake and Nystrom School Principal Jamie Allardice.

“We are helping 100 children… prepare for their safe return to school in Nystrom,” said Tracy Miller, CEO and Founder of SAFFRON, a non-profit organization that provides health-focused services to single parents, to women and children in need. “We can teach them the basics of infection control and how a person can make a big difference. “

SAFFRON volunteer members, who include nurses, social workers, physicians, dietitians, and mental and emotional health professionals, have helped deliver health care education to Nystrom students, including lessons on germs, how they are spread, and how to prevent them from spreading through steps such as hand washing.

Saturday’s event featured prizes for students who could answer all health education questions around COVID-19, including three portable wireless boomboxes donated by Green Remedy and Holistic Healing Collective, based at Richmond. Nicole Reed, Adrian Walker and Jayme Castillo-Cruz took home the awards.

“In light of the fact that Nystrom School will have a face-to-face learning from April 19, it is very important to share with our students the importance of infection control and how to properly wash hands as an example to back to school. Said Reverend Shumake.

Otheree called Nystrom’s giveaway a “powerful experience.”

“It helps to know that we still have a community that cares about children and helps them learn about infection control and survive the pandemic,” Otheree said.

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