BROOKLINE (CBS) — An initiative in Brookline is helping educators get COVID vaccine appointments. Parents are “adopting” a teacher and registering them for a vaccine appointment so teachers don’t need to spend time searching for an appointment themselves.
“It’s very difficult to get these appointments. The lucky people that do come across them, it’s at really inconvenient times. It requires a lot of time and patience, sitting at your computer pressing that refresh button, just hoping, wishing that these appointments become available and teachers, nationwide just don’t have the luxury or the time,” said Lawrence School PTO President Christina Grady.READ MORE: 'George Floyd’s Life Mattered': Local Politicians React To Derek Chauvin Verdict
Parent Masha Leuner started the Adopt-A-Teacher program for the Lawrence School in Brookline. She was shocked no one else had thought of the idea before.
Seven other schools in town quickly joined and now Newton and Sudbury are looking to implement the program as well.
“I started making appointments for my parents, who are older and can’t really navigate the system, and I realized how difficult it was. And then I realized that it would be extremely difficult teachers perhaps to engage in that way with the system because they’re in the classroom,” said Leuner. “I put together the spreadsheet for signups and some communication and then I contacted our principal.”
Leuner figured teachers would be concerned about sharing their personal information needed to sign up. But so far, 45 educators have signed up in the last week and 44 have gotten appointments for the vaccine at CVS.READ MORE: Gov. Baker Makes National Guard Available After Chauvin Guilty Verdict
‘It’s been a huge success, it’s been a huge morale booster,” said Grady.
“It felt just not right to ask that of our teachers and our staff and our schools, everyone that makes our learning community so special, to go back with more students and more days without the vaccine,” Grady added. “Having the vaccination is really the biggest component to really just helping everyone sleep better at night.”
She said the teachers are grateful and the parents are happy to be able to support schools this way.
Leuner explained the process starts with names in a Google Document. “Whoever ends up on your same row is your adopted teacher. The instructions are very specific. If you have that adopted teacher, you have to contact them and then you ask them for all the answers to the input into these systems,” she said.
Parents are told to keep the information confidential.MORE NEWS: Breaking: Derek Chauvin Found Guilty On All 3 Counts In Death Of George Floyd
“For the parent community to come together in this way and to show that very concrete solidarity with the teachers, and the level of appreciation for the work that they do for our children, I think that was a huge morale booster for the teachers, but also for us,” said Leuner.