Forest Park school district cancels classes to let students get vaccinated

Forest Park School District 91 cancelled school Monday and Tuesday of Thanksgiving week to promote vaccination awareness.

There was no dragging 11 year old Lily to get her first COVID-19  shot Monday morning. In fact, Lily and her sister told their mom they wanted this.

"A lot of kids in my school were actually getting sick and I really do not want that," explained Lily Huner.

"Once it was approved they asked if they could get vaccinated. I didn’t push them for it. They just want to be safe," said Lupe Huner, who brought her two youngest children to the vaccination event.

They were among the children taking advantage of Vaccination Awareness Day for Forest Park School District 91. Class was cancelled and Betsy Ross Elementary was one of two schools turned into a vaccination clinic.

"It’s heartening to know that with each tiny prick, and I do mean tiny, we’ve got one more tool at work to lead us into a post pandemic reality and more immediately a safer holiday season," said Kyra Tyler, Forest Park School District 91 Board President.


Illinois’ Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ekike toured the site that clearly caters to kids with a therapy dog to snuggle, plus colorful Band-Aids, stickers and snacks.

Ezike is highlighting community efforts like this before holiday celebrations, even though kids getting their first shot today won’t be fully vaccinated by Christmas.

"If you still get it today, you’re still better off than if you don’t get it today," said Ezike.

School leaders are selling these shots as a way to keep kids in class learning, instead of at home quarantining.

"We hope this will decrease positive cases as we go into the new year 2022, hopeful for a new beginning for all of us," said Dr. Elizabeth Ãlvarez, Forest Park School District 91.

But school may not be the motivation for those getting the shots like Lily.

"I haven’t had a sleep over in a long time," Lily said as she discussed what she can do once she’s fully vaccinated.  And she said her shot at having sleepovers and more freedoms didn’t even hurt.