Eligible Households to Receive $150 Voucher for Getting COVID-19 Vaccination
West Virginia Governor Jim Justice announced Monday a new vaccination incentive program for the state’s grandparents who are raising their grandchildren. Eligible participating households in West Virginia State University’s (WVSU) Healthy Grandfamilies program can receive a $150 voucher for providing proof of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.
Participants must be enrolled in a WVSU Healthy Grandfamilies program and provide evidence that grandparents and all eligible young people in the household have received one or more COVID-19 vaccination shots. Programs are available in all 55 West Virginia counties.
The voucher will come in the form of a gift card to be used to assist with school-related costs such as clothing and supplies.
“So many of our grandparent participants have underlying health conditions, so it is vitally important that we keep our grandfamilies safe and healthy,” said WVSU Extension Specialist and Healthy Grandfamilies Program Director Bonnie Dunn.
According to Dunn, there are more than 35,000 grandparent-led households throughout the state, with approximately 19,000 young people being cared for by a grandparent. West Virginia ranks second in the nation in the number of grandfamily households.
The incentive for grandfamilies is part of Justice’s “Save Our Wisdom” initiative, which aims to provide vaccines to all individuals age 80 and older, as well as all Pre-K-12 school teachers and staff age 50 and older.
WVSU Extension Service and WVSU’s Department of Social Work launched Healthy Grandfamilies in 2016 to provide information, resources and support to grandparents raising their grandchildren. A five-county pilot program soon expanded statewide, with program cohorts currently happening in all 55 counties of the state. WVSU has also established a Center for Grandfamilies on its Institute campus.
The traditional Healthy Grandfamilies program consists of a series of discussion sessions on topics like navigating the school and legal systems, social media, health literacy and self-care, 21st century parenting and more. Sessions are supplemented with social work services.
To enroll, visit healthygrandfamilies.com and contact your county coordinator, or contact Bonnie Dunn at (304) 204-4007 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration for the voucher incentive is set to begin Tuesday, Sept. 7.
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