During National Vaccine Awareness Month in August, it’s important to be educated on the public health importance of getting children immunized for the upcoming school year, county officials said.

For instance, a child might be exposed to thousands of germs every day in his environment. This happens through the food they eat, air they breathe, and things items they put in their mouth.

Although babies are born with immune systems that can fight most germs, there are some deadly diseases they can’t handle. That’s why they need vaccines to strengthen their immune system, and on-time vaccination throughout childhood is essential, as it helps provide immunity before children are exposed to potentially life-threatening diseases.

Overall, vaccines are tested to ensure that they are safe and effective for children to receive at recommended ages.

First Day of School

Tuesday, Sept. 3 for all PGCPS students

Increased Student Support

Schools CEO Monica Goldson said in a recent community letter that the 2019-20 school year “will be rooted in academic performance and increased support for students, educators, administrators and families.”

Goldson said her priorities for the upcoming term include making efforts to:

• Invest in the schoolhouse so students are prepared to receive a high-quality education with high standards and accountability.

• Help students come to school ready to learn, providing wraparound services to increase educational outcomes and overall wellness.

• Emphasize grade-level fundamentals, ensuring students are on par with their peers and, when necessary, receiving personalized instruction.

Goldson added that through the Blueprint for PGCPS, officials are infusing $53 million into programs and schools that will help to move the system’s achievement and facilities forward.

Back-to-School Block Party

PGCPS will unofficially kick off the new school year on Aug. 17 with a “Back to School Block Party” at Prince George’s Sports and Learning Complex in Landover.

The event will feature free backpacks, vision and dental screenings as well as school and community resources.

Tax-Free Shopping

Now through Aug. 17, clothing and footwear under $100 — and the first $40 of a backpack — are exempt from the state of Maryland’s six percent sales.

Scholar of the Week

Ashantie Pernell, a senior at Potomac High School was recognized as a Scholar of the Week.

As a dual-enrolled student at Potomac, she took college classes at Prince George’s Community College while maintaining a 4.2 grade point average.

Ashantie, who was a member of the National Honor Society and Art Society, loves painting, drawing and sculpting.

In addition, Ashantie served on the Green Team, where she was involved in implementing earth-friendly features around school and helping to start a recycling program. It is in this area where she plans to focus and expand her impact, studying architecture, environmental studies and sociology this fall at Clemson University in South Carolina.

“I’m a very hands-on person and I want to improve the world with a career that incorporates renewable and sustainable features into building,” she said. “I chose Clemson because of the architecture program.”

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