West Virginia Governor Jim Justice announced the launch of an initiative that will provide a $150 voucher for back-to-school supplies to all vaccinated “grandfamilies” in West Virginia. Grandfamilies are families where grandparents are the primary caregivers for their grandchildren. “If you’re a grandfamily, and the grandparents have been vaccinated, and you’ll just help us get the kids across the finish line, we’ll give you $150,” Gov. Justice said.
West Virginia State University’s Healthy Grandfamilies program provides information and resources to grandparents who are raising one or more grandchildren, and will assist in the administration of the school voucher incentive. “Governor, thank you so much. This is a really big announcement for the grandparents who are raising grandchildren in West Virginia,” said Healthy Grandfamilies co-director Bonnie Dunn. “In the mix of all these grandfamilies, we're looking at about 19,000 children in those families. What if our grandparents began dying off due to COVID because they didn't get vaccinated? What would we do in West Virginia with 19,000 homeless children?”
Dunn said the goal is to encourage grandfamilies to get the whole family vaccinated. Registration for the school voucher incentive will began Tuesday, September 7. To qualify, All vaccine-eligible members of the grandfamily must have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and this includes the grandparents and grandchildren ages 12 and older. The family must also be enrolled in the Healthy Grandfamilies program.
“We’ve been working every day to save our wisdom,” Gov. Justice said. “Now, we’re hoping our wisdom will help us save our youth; save our future.” For information on how to enroll, visit healthygrandfamilies.com.