Backpacks were crammed, hair cut and vaccines administered in Glenfield Park on Sunday, during Montclair Sentinels 16-87’s 14th annual school supplies distribution.
The Sentinels, an association of the Montclair Color Police, and other community sponsors have teamed up to provide supplies and an afternoon of entertainment and community for the kids, Detective Anjanette Sanders said. Sanders is the only resource agent for the Montclair school district, and the coordinator of the event this year.
“It’s important to have an event like this so that we can make sure that no child goes to school with nothing,” Sanders said. “We love each other, so we just want to spread that positivity and make sure all the kids get everything they need.”
The event included face painting, games and music, all to get kids back to school, Sanders said.
“We just want them to be safe and have a great year,” Sanders said.
Camila Chavarria, a rising seventh grader at Buzz Aldrin College Camila Chavarria, said she heard about the event from the local nonprofit Montclair Fund for Educational Excellence, which worked with County D ‘Essex to bring its mobile vaccination clinic to the event.
“I have notebooks, pencils, a backpack and a book,” said Chavarria. “I am delighted that school is starting. “
Sanders said 240 backpacks containing school supplies had been collected with none left by the end of the event. The giveaway was supported by many donors, but the biggest were the Placek family, the Silver Family Foundation and Applegate Farm, she said. Haircuts were provided to students for free by Keycuts and music was provided by DJ Moore. A total of 28 sponsorship groups brought in volunteers.
Essex County spokesman Anthony Puglisi said 46 vaccines were given during the event.
“Nothing more than one and we’ve done a great job,” said Essex County nurse Manoucheka Giles. “And I hope we’ll see more people before the day is up.”
The county had also tested eight people for COVID-19, Giles said.
With the support of an anonymous donor, the MFEE has guaranteed $ 100 for the first 50 people to register and receive a full vaccination, whether it is two injections of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines or one injection of Johnson & Johnson. MFEE members said they would follow up with those who signed up to confirm vaccination and distribute incentives.
Montclair Health Ministry Director of Nursing Margaret Brodowski said the event was a good opportunity to share information on resources provided by the ministry.
“We want to reach out to all the populations in our community and share with them what we have to offer,” said Brodowski. “After this year where we were so locked up, it’s a pleasure to be here.”