The Montclair Fund for Educational Excellence’s Covid Vaccine Initiative is now in full-swing with the hiring of three Community Health Workers. Aminah Toler, Robin Curry, and Marlon Bernardez are undergoing 144 hours of training from the Department of Health, while also beginning to share COVID-19 vaccine information to Montclair residents at two community events this weekend.
On Saturday, April 17th, all residents and their families are invited to enjoy a spring day at the newly renovated Montclair Community Pre-K playground at 49 Orange Road. From 1-2:30pm, children can enjoy supervised play and free gelato, courtesy of Guerriero Gelato, while parents and caregivers engage in an interactive conversation about COVID-19 vaccines. Dr. Renee Baskerville and the MFEE Community Health Workers will talk about the vaccine and provide information, as well as answer questions. The event will conclude with the opportunity for community members to register to receive the vaccine at Mountainside Hospital.
The event is free, but please register for the event to assist MFEE in following COVID protocols: http://bit.ly/MFEECovid19InfoEvent.
On Sunday, April 18th, Montclair Mutual Aid will be hosting an afternoon of free food and music at Glenfield Park from 12:00-2:00pm. Families can pick up bags of free food and other supplies at the Wally Choice Center, while listening to music from Parents Who Rock. MFEE’s Community Health Workers will be on-hand to talk about the vaccine and answer questions, as well as to provide assistance in registering.
This spring, MFEE was awarded funding by the Partnership for Maternal and Child Health of Northern New Jersey, a regional grantee of the NJ Department of Health, to execute a broad COVID-19 Vaccine Awareness Campaign shaped by and designed for Black and Brown community members. MFEE’s Community Health Workers will serve as the connector for trusted groups, leaders and messengers to develop engaging materials and to creatively design a multi-pronged communication strategy.
Aminah Toler, a lifelong Montclair resident, is a founding member of Montclair Mutual Aid, an organization designed to help people in the community who may be underserved or in need. “The purpose of my work in helping to “spread the word” as a Community Health Worker is to ensure people who look like me have the necessary tools available to them to help make an informed decision about getting vaccinated.”
Robin Curry, also a lifelong Montclair resident, has been active in several local organizations including the Montclair African-American Heritage Foundation, the Montclair Celebrates 4th of July Parade Committee, and she is a founding member of the Montclair High School All Class Reunion Committee. “Being an MFEE Community Health Worker is the perfect way to utilize my township knowledge, creativity, and dedication to community service to support the people of Montclair.”
Marlon Bernardez rounds out the team with his youth and enthusiasm. He is currently a student at Rutgers University, passionate about the power of diversity and inclusion to create a more prosperous world. “COVID-19 has had a negative impact on many lives, and I believe becoming an MFEE Community Health Worker was my opportunity to have a positive impact on the lives of many in my community and beyond.”
MFEE’s COVID-19 Vaccine Initiative will continue over the next few months and will include other outdoor events and virtual Town Halls which feature Black and Brown health professionals and community members. The next virtual Town Hall is on April 29th at 7pm. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
To learn more, join the MFEE Community Health Worker Facebook Group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/mfeecommunityhealthworkers/. For more information or to ask questions, reach out to email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, and email@example.com.