BROOKLYN, N.Y., March 31, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- American public schools have a vital role to play in supporting the nationwide COVID-19 vaccine effort by combating misinformation and helping school community members understand why vaccines are important and where to go to access their vaccine.
To play this role effectively, schools need credible, accessible information and tools.
Together with leading health and education organizations, Brooklyn Laboratory Charter Schools (LAB) and EquityByDesign.org have launched the School Vaccine Hub—a centralized platform with credible vaccine information and accompanying lesson plans and curricular tools that schools can use to promote the uptake of COVID-19 vaccinations and address fears and concerns about vaccines in America's diverse public school communities. The hub includes a range of resources offered in multiple different languages.
"Many Americans remain reluctant to be vaccinated, and many don't yet know how to get vaccinated," said Eric Tucker, Brooklyn LAB's executive director. "Our public schools have incredible reach into practically every community in America. We can help combat the quickfire spread of misinformation, and we can help Americans find the best place to get their vaccine—supporting the aim of herd immunity."
L. Arthi Krishnaswami, project lead for the School Vaccine Hub for Brooklyn LAB and founder of the Community Success Institute, agreed, adding that community transparency will be critical in building confidence in the vaccine. "Schools are a central point of contact for many communities, and with the right information, they can be empowered to play a crucial role in building trust in their communities," she said.
The School Vaccine Hub curates high-quality resources for schools and school leaders to share, including content from trusted public health institutions like the CDC, the FDA, and the World Health Organization; and media organizations like CNN, NPR, ProPublica, The Atlantic, Quartz, and The 19th.
The site also incorporates data from the COVID Collaborative, a national assembly of leading experts and institutions that partnered with the Ad Council to create a COVID-19 vaccine public education campaign.
Sample content includes infographics, articles, videos, and even high school and middle school COVID-19 curriculum to arm teachers and students with important information about vaccines. The hubs' creators intentionally included content from respected institutions, with information such as vaccine comparison overviews from Yale Medicine, state-by-state data vaccination data from Our World in Data, and "COVID-19 Vaccination Communication: Applying Behavioral and Social Science to Address Vaccine Hesitancy and Foster Vaccine Confidence" from the National Institute of Health, among others.
"We need all hands on deck to turn the tide on the pandemic," said John Bridgeland, co-founder and CEO of the COVID Collaborative. "Our goal is to mobilize experts, leaders, and institutions from every sector in the fight against COVID-19, and we're excited about the role the School Vaccine Hub is playing to help disseminate information about the vaccine in school communities across the nation."
Dr. Asaf Bitton, executive director of Ariadne Labs – a health innovation center at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health – said: "This is one of greatest public health campaigns we've undertaken in generations. People's confidence in vaccines can grow with open upfront acknowledgement of their concerns and through communication from people they trust and sources that are proximate. That trust and proximity exist at schools."
Erin Mote, executive director of InnovateEDU and co-founder of the Educating All Learners Alliance (EALA) said EALA partners prepared quality resources to support school communities to understand and embrace vaccination. "We know well how impactful quality, vetted resources can be to support educators, and are honored to partner with the School Vaccine Hub in their efforts," she added.
The School Vaccine Hub will reach thousands of schools through a distribution partnership with over 80 educational organizations from EALA, including the National Center for Learning Disabilities, the Center for Learner Equity, InnovateEDU, Digital Promise and ISTE. The School Vaccine Hub builds on the success of EALA as well as LAB's Equity by Design initiative to help schools reopen safely and equitably in the midst of the unprecedented pandemic.
The School Vaccine Hub will feature the latest information on the COVID-19 vaccine to support equitable access to information for school communities. Schools, medical institutions, media platforms, and public health entities that have curricular tools, articles, videos, or other resources to share can submit their content via this form for consideration. Reach out to [email protected] with any questions.
About Brooklyn Laboratory Charter Schools
Brooklyn Laboratory Charter Schools (LAB), co-founded in 2013 by Eric Tucker and Erin Mote, is a network of public charter schools that serves 6-12th grade students. LAB was designed to educate high-need urban students, particularly those who are least well-served by their current educational options. Named a "Center of Excellence" for its work with Students with Disabilities by the Center for Learner Equity, LAB aims to meet the individual needs of each student and to leverage innovative technologies and learning practices to eradicate the achievement gap. LAB was selected as an XQ school and is actively involved in work to upgrade and rethink high school to better meet the needs of students and of the future. For more information, please visit BrooklynLaboratorySchool.org.
SOURCE Brooklyn Laboratory Charter Schools