RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – With students days away from heading back to school both virtually and in person in Richmond, a giveaway was held Sunday afternoon on the southside to help out families with school supplies.
Willis Entertainment and The Patel Brothers held the event to give free school supplies and food to families in need before school starts back.
The new school year comes as the delta variant of the coronavirus is now the most common in Virginia contributing to the case surge.
A lot of moms 8News spoke with at Sunday’s event said they’re excited for their kids to go back to in-person learning, but some say they’re worried about the virus and are keeping their kids home for virtual schooling.
Mom Cherreka Anderson is choosing to keep her seven-year-old daughter home from Broad Rock Elementary for virtual academy because she said she’s worried about the rise in coronavirus cases.
“It’s very important with everything going on,” she said. “It’s scary to have the thought of sending your child to school and they come back with a illness that they might not survive from. It’s scary.”
Anderson said she’s thankful for events like the one on Sunday that give back to the community, because even though her child will be going to school virtually, there’s still a need for school supplies.
Richmond mom Patricia Rivers’ 9-year-old daughter is excited to go back to school in-person to Blackwell Elementary on September 8, but Rivers is concerned.
“I don’t feel it’s safe for her,” Rivers told 8News at Sunday’s event.
Rivers said she wasn’t notified well enough that she needed to opt-in for virtual learning with RPS. Now, she said she’ll just have to face the music.
“Take COVID-19 seriously and go get vaccinated,” she said in a message to the public Sunday. “I have friends every day that’s getting sick and being hospitalized.”
This is the first time since March 2019 that all Richmond Public School students have the choice to go back to school in person. Superintendent Jason Kamras, who was at Sunday’s event, is requiring all staff and students to wear masks in schools.
Kamras asked everyone in the crowd at Sunday’s event to get vaccinated so that they don’t have to shut down schools like they did last year due to COVID-19 cases.