Families approach COVID-19 safety as kids return to in-person learning

Many families will send their children back to school on Wednesday, and each of them is handling COVID-19 safety and precautions in their own way.

On Sunday, there was a back-to-school pop-up event at Liberty Park in Renton. It was held by the Communities in Schools of Renton-Tukwila-Lake Washington during its Annual Back-to-School Block Party.

Development Director Keysha-Rae Cooper told Q13 News 800 students and families were served. The event raised nearly $34-thousand in in-kind donations, gave 26 haircuts, 14 vaccinations, 280 pairs of shoes and 725 backpacks.

"I straight up told my daughter you need to get the vaccination. I’m like, you’re not going to be able to go anywhere or do anything unless you have a vaccination," said Appollonia Perez.

Perez’s daughter is a freshman this year in the Lake Washington School District.

"We get to go to actual, real school. That’s what I’m excited about, and actually to be in-person, because it was hard for me when I was trying to learn online because it was a lot of work," said Augustina Lacoste. "So now that we’re in person, it’s like more support. You have your friends around you."

RELATED: Parents may have to brace for potential disruptions to in-person learning this fall

Parents at the park said they’re stocking up on masks and practicing wearing them at home.

"He thinks just because it’s on, but no, he needs to have it over the nose and pinch it especially when we’re indoors with a lot of people inside the room," said Tiffany Hubbard, mom to a first-grader.

"We’ve ordered a bunch of masks online that are fun so that she’s motivated to wear them and be trendy," said Lorena Aceves, mom to a fifth-grader.

There are added nerves with the Delta variant, but families have varying thoughts on if the COVID-19 vaccine is right for their child. 

"I was very concerned because I’m thinking like, OK, here we are going all together in school again and nobody’s thinking about getting vaccinations for their kids," said Perez.

RELATED: Community divided in Eatonville over COVID-19 monitors for student-athletes

"Not really trusting the system quite yet to have that on board in our household, but we are wearing masks and doing things like that. Sanitizing, disinfecting things like that to stay safe," said Aceves.

"I need to do more research instead of basing my opinion on what other people think," said Hubbard. 

A strong common theme, though, is the excitement before the new school year ahead.

"Honestly, I hope we do a lot of science because science is the number one thing I’m actually good at," said Mariana Aceves.

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