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Pueblo students gear up to go back to school, free of charge

Although 70% of Coloradans are vaccinated, COVID-19 cases in children are rising nationwide
Posted at 4:26 PM, Jul 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-23 08:39:12-04

PUEBLO — The Buell Children's Museum attached to the Sangre De Cristo Arts Center handed out backpacks full of back-to-school items on Thursday, as kids prepare for the first day of school in just a few weeks.

"If I had a quarter for every time I heard someone say, you don't know how much this means to us, this backpack is going to last us for a long time - That's what makes this part worth it," said Jerica Khosla, the Director of Learning at the event. She says the goal is to help families in Pueblo who might be facing financial hardships.

"With school starting back pretty soon, it’s going to be nice to be able to get the supplies so that we’re already pre-ready," said Jade Pitchfork, who brought her children that attend District 60 schools to the event.

However, the American Academy of Pediatrics reports that 23,551 child COVID-19 cases were reported between July 8 to July 15.

“I’m not too concerned, but we’re cautious," said Pitchford, when asked if she was worried about her kids going back to in-person learning.

“We chose the online option last year, and so we’re excited to get back to the classroom and for them to see their friends and their teachers!”

The museum is not the only resource hoping to make the transition into this school year easier for parents and caregivers.

Caregivers Over 50, part of the Rocky Mountain Children's Law Center, are hosting free virtual clinics aimed at providing parents and caregivers resources.

“I think as parents and caregivers again, we just want to be monitoring as closely as possible and if issues are coming up.. Don’t wait to reach out to school staff or other resources that might be able to help you," said Kate Gladson, who helps present some of the law firm's clinics.

On Thursday evening at 6:00 pm, they are hosting on clinic titled "Back to School After COVID-19: Special Education Issues & Advocacy Strategies" for anyone taking care of a student with special needs. Those interested can register for the event here.

Buell Children's Museum also says they are always accepting donations of recycled school supplies.

District 70 begins school on August 12. District 60 begins school on August 17.