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 Tips to stay safe around TUSD bus stops
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3 years ago

Tips to stay safe around TUSD bus stops

TUCSON - Tucson Unified School District students are heading back to school today, and if you had trouble finding your child's bus stop this morning - fear not, TUSD has set up a website with complete bus stop information.

TUSD's MapNet allows you to search for the nearest bus stop by address or by school. Find your closest bus stop here:


With nearly 50,000 kids heading back to school today, TUSD has safety tips for kids, parents and motorists to make sure the thousands of bus stops around Tucson stay safe.

Parental supervision at bus stops is a big plus in safeguarding children, TUSD officials state on their website.

"With thousands of bus stops within TUSD, having a district employee at every stop every day is out of the question," the site states. "As with classroom volunteers, parents who take the initiative in monitoring bus stops are an invaluable part of the educational process."

Motorists who pass by bus stop locations should always be extra-alert, be prepared to stop suddenly, and be mindful of unpredictable student behavior, TUSD states.

Here are some other important safety tips from TUSD's website:

  • Stop whenever a school bus stops to pick up or drop off children. Remain stopped until student lights and stop sign are deactivated. Nationwide more children are hurt or killed outside the bus while loading or unloading than in collisions.
  • Be aware that all TUSD School Buses stop at all railroad crossings.
  • School Bus Loading Areas around schools are for school buses only during the time of use.
  • You can help ensure your child's safety by discussing bus behavior rules and common courtesies expected on the bus and at the bus stop.
  • School buses are the safest mode of land transportation in the US.
  • TUSD school bus drivers are randomly tested for drugs and alcohol throughout the school year.
  • Many children walk to and from school. As a motorist, please exercise extra care when you see children along your route.

Anyone can help keep Tucson's kids safe by reporting potentially-unsafe bus stops to the Transportation Department, TUSD states. If you notice conditions that may be unsafe for children, or other conditions that cause you concern, contact the Tucson Department of Transportation using the information provided on this web page:


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3 years ago

TUSD Maintenance crews work to get air conditioners ready district-wide

TUCSON - With the weather still reaching into 100- degree temperatures, school maintenance crews are working dilligently to get the air conditioning ready for the students' return.

Sam Hughes Elementary School is just one of many schools receiving maintenance on their air conditioning system, as crews work through to get all the schools ready for the first day for the Tucson Unified School District.

The District has about 120 schools total to maintain. It is a job that David Rodriguez with TUSD says keeps them busy year-round. He says they have crews daily at a school working to keep the systems running.

"We understand the importance of maintaining a comfortable environment in the schools for the children to learn, and we go to great measures and great lengths to ensure that happens," Rodriguez said.

Last August, Fruchthendler Elementary School was dealing with a hot school for a few weeks, but officials said the system was still operational then, it just was not operating at 100 percent.

Rodriguez says if a system completely shuts down, they arrive immediately. In other cases, they have to wait for parts.

3 years ago

TUSD answers questions for back to school transportation

TUCSON - Tucson Unified School District staff members say they're currently trying to help 15,000 students who are eligible for transportation this school year.

So to make sure things runs smoothly, they've established a customer service bank where parents can call in and get help to make sure their child knows which bus stop to go on, and what time that bus is going to pick them up.

If you weren't able to get in touch with the call center, you can still log onto TUSD's website at www.tusd1.org for more information on bus schedules.

The transportation call center will also be open tomorrow from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. for assistance. The number is (520) 225-4800.

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3 years ago

TUSD answers questions about back-to-school transportation

TUCSON - Tucson Unified School District students return to the classroom on Monday.

To help parents know about bus stops, pick-up and drop-off they've developed a new website.

The new Transportation Information website can be accessed at www.tusd1.org/tusdbus or by clicking on the yellow school bus on the TUSD website at www.tusd1.org. Bus stops and times can be located using your address or school.

The TUSD Transportation Customer Service Phone Bank will be available at (520) 225-4800 from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. this Saturday and Sunday. If you experience heavy traffic on this phone line, please visit the www.tusd1.org/tusdbus website.

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3 years ago

Safety tips for back to school

TUCSON - School is back in session for several districts across the area, and local agencies are pushing school safety.

There are a lot of different aspects when it comes to that. AAA and local fire departments are advising to look out for kids on foot and biking around. They are also reminding drivers to leave a little bit early in case of more traffic and slow school zones.

Several law enforcement agencies have advised they are taking a "No tolerance" approach to school zone speeders.

Anne Marie Braswell with the Rural Metro Fire Department says these are just a few easy things you can do to prevent tragic accidents from happening.

"We're in the business of emergency services and we respond to people's worst day of their lives. We have to keep in our minds a calendar of events or possible incidents that may be occurring. And of course, when it comes to children, that's everybody's priority," Braswell said.

She also advises to designate a parent to be at the bus stop with kids every day, and to suit up your kids with reflective gear on their shoes, bikes, or backpacks.

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3 years ago

UA parking meters go solar

TUCSON- Just in time for the start of school, the University of Arizona has new parking meters. They're energy efficient. But some find them exasperating.

The new rule is, if you want to park most places on campus, leave the coins at home and bring plastic. The new meters only take credit cards or UA Cat Cards.

Jack Walters sure was surprised when he pulled up outside of McKale Center to buy a basketball ticket.

He says, "I came with my pocket full of change." Then he discovered the new meters don't take cash.

Walters says, "I had to have two athletes show me how to work the doggone thing."

And, even though he was parked for 10 minutes, Walters had to pay $1.50 for a whole hour. "It's a rip off is what I think. It's ridiculous."

And he's not alone. Another motorist says, "I'm in and out of here for five minutes right now. I don't want to put in that amount. So I guess I'm going to risk it [a parking ticket]."

Over the summer the UA took out about 450 coin operated parking meters and put in 35 solar operated pay stations.

Each station covers several spaces. And you have to buy a minimum of one hour of parking and pay for it with plastic.

"I think it's pretty dumb," a motorist complains. Others say, "It's good for the digital age."

The UA's associate director of parking and transportation services believes most customers will love them.

Mark Napier says, "As simple as an ATM is about how simple they are to use."

Napier says, This was spawned by the desire to make it more convenient, easier to use for our customers, because a lot of people don't carry coinage with them."

He says with a credit card you can add more hours to your meter from any campus pay station. Eventually he hopes you'll be able to do it from your cell phone.

As for why the minimum cost is $1.50, he says, "We made it more convenient and there are fees associated to us with using credit cards."

Napier says for those who don't like the new system, UA parking garages still take cash and their first 15 minutes of parking are free.

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3 years ago

RAW VIDEO: Marana principal talks about this year's changes

MARANA - Students in several local districts headed back today, including Sierra Vista, Bisbee, Sahuarita and Tombstone. It was also the first day for students in Marana.

At Coyote Trail Elementary School on Silverbell Road, there was a bit of a change this year. The new school year started with a new time, 7:45 am. The school has K-6 grade, and more than 600 students.

Dan Johnson, the principal of Coyote Trail Elementary said, "The traffic's been good, the buses are on time, students walking and biking - it's been a good start."

The students had a practice run last Friday when their school had an open house. A day to get rid of their nervous jitters and get ready for school.

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3 years ago

Pima County Sheriffs enhancing enforcement around school zones

TUCSON - With many students heading back to school in the coming weeks, the Pima County Sheriff's Department will be conducting increased enforcement around schools and school zones during the month of August.

Deputies will be on the lookout for motorists violating several specific statutes - take a look at these traffic laws and make sure you're following them when dropping off and picking up your student:

ARS 28-797G & H Exceeding 15 MPH in a school zone. (Fines doubled).

ARS 28-644A1 Failure to obey a traffic control device. (School zone signs prohibit passing in a school zone. Passing is overtaking another vehicle going the same direction. This violation occurs frequently on roadways where there are multiple lanes in each direction.)

ARS 28-857 Passing stopped school bus. (Vehicles shall stop if a school bus is stopped and is displaying the proper lights and the stop sign commonly seen on the left hand side of the bus.)

ARS 28-724B Overtaking on the right. (The driver of a vehicle may overtake and pass another vehicle on the right under normal conditions permitting the movement is done safely. The driver shall NOT make the movement by driving off the pavement or main traveled portion of the roadway).

ARS 28-901B In receiving or discharging (dropping or picking up) children at the school, a person who drives a vehicle carrying children to and from school shall stop on the side of the roadway on which the school is located.

ARS 28-792 Failure to yield right of way to pedestrians at crosswalk. (Vehicles must stop for pedestrians in a crosswalk and may not pass another vehicle stopped for a pedestrian.)

PCSD officials say that most schools have a specific route that parents should follow when pickup up and dropping off children. If you are unsure of this route, PCSD says to check with the school office.

PCSD also wants to remind parents that children under 18 are required by law to wear a helmet if riding a bicycle.

Traffic Unit deputies will be patrolling all school zones in the county, with focus on stopping speeding motorists and maintaining the safety of Pima County's children.

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3 years ago

10 back-to-school tech survival tips

(MSNBC) - There are lots of things that you or your kid should know about when gearing up to go back to school. MSNBC's Wilson Rothman has 10 tips for back-to-school gear:

1. Apple gives you discounts on Macs, but the discounts are uneven. Dollar for dollar, you save more buying a MacBook Pro ($200 off) than a MacBook Air ($50 off). No matter what you buy, you'll get a $100 gift card for Mac apps, iOS apps, iBooks and iTunes if you make the deal by Sept. 20. (That offer used to get you a free iPod Touch - which has a $229 price tag - so it's technically not as good it once was.)

To qualify for Apple student/teacher discounts, hit the company's education channel or just jump right here to look up your school.

2. Amazon Prime is free to students - but you don't get streaming video. Yes, you get the unlimited free 2-day shipping, and the $3.99 overnight charge. No, you don't get "Demolition Man," "Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares," or "Louis CK: Chewed Up," not without paying the normal prices, that is.

(Editorial aside to Amazon: Give students free video, because if you don't, they'll just steal it! If you can't convince them of the benefits of legal digital conduct, who will?)

3. Amazon textbook rentals are few and far between. Lots of hype has been made of the Kindle textbook rental, and why not, it's incredible! If you can find a textbook you actually use, that is. James Stewart's "Calculus," one of the most standard textbooks for high school and college, still costs $162.99 at Amazon. You can buy it used for as low as $62.52, but there's no Kindle version of that, let alone a version available for limited-time rental. By all means, comb through the store for your textbooks, but don't be surprised if digital editions just aren't there.

4. Microsoft has a student discount for Xbox Live. Yes, in and among the obvious student/teacher software discounts, the Microsoft Store gives you 12 months of Xbox Live plus 800 Microsoft points for $54. By my calculations, that's about $16 off. Not huge savings, but now you can buy, what, like 1,300 more points! (Msnbc.com is a joint venture of Microsoft and NBC Universal, but that's not why I think this is a neat deal.)

5. Barnes & Noble may well have the coolest digital study tool around. Seriously, this free eTextbook application for PC and Mac lets you not only get books digitally, but organize coursework, compile syllabi and other documents, take notes, print, export and go online for related research. While the same warning about Amazon's textbook rental program applies here - that your particular study materials might not be available - it's certainly worth the $0.00 price to check it out, and the other features may end up being useful on their own.

6. Don't buy software until you check with your school. College IT departments let you download a ton of big-name software for free, because they have bulk educational licenses. So don't buy any of the major Microsoft or Adobe products until you see what you can get straight from campus IT. Wish I had a link, but every school's website is different. Just start digging, either by checking the IT department or bookstore.

7. And don't forget college hardware deals. Schools often retail computers to students directly, nowadays through the online bookstore, offering discounts that you can't get at stores. From what I have seen, none of the Apple hardware is marked down lower than Apple's official educational discounts, but there might be a service benefit to buying it through your school. (Some schools offer service for as long as you're a student, or enrolled in a particular program.)

8. Look out for specialty retailer deals. Computer vendor Newegg has a deal that lets you turn Microsoft Office Home and Student into a full version, by giving you a free download of Outlook, Publisher and Access when you buy it. This still may not be as good as the free software you can get at school, but if your school doesn't hook you up, check with these guys.

9. Don't buy gadget insurance. It's generally a waste of money. First, check with your homeowner's or renter's policy to see what's covered in terms of theft and damage. Next, invest money in a protective case instead. Most accidents can be avoided by a bit of plastic shielding.

10. Most overlooked useful school gadget? A USB thumb drive. Pick up a nice rugged one, like the Verbatim Tuff-n-Tiny or the Victorinox Swiss Army Secure drive, and clip it on your keychain. Networking is getting better and better, and the cloud is your friend and all that, but it never hurts to have a back-up of your important work - all of it - right there in your pocket, not to mention a good way to taxi files around when nothing else seems to be working.

Bonus tip: Your college may have an iPhone or Android app. The fact alone makes me jealous of today's college kids, so I won't dwell on it. Just do yourselves (or your kids) a favor and check the usual app stores to see if your uni has a one-stop mobile shop for maps, sports calendars, class schedules and more.

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3 years ago

Back to school for more districts

ARIZONA-It's back to school time for several more districts in Southern Arizona.
Teachers in Nogales, Sierra Vista and Marana report to school today.
Classes officially begin for students and teachers in Flowing Wells and Altar Valley.

3 years ago

Seven buses stuffed "4 Our Kids" - Mission accomplished!

TUCSON - The "4 Our Kids" School Supply Drive wrapped up last night, and we certainly ended on a bang! We managed to stuff SEVEN buses full of school supplies this year - three more than last year!

Check out all the photos from last night's school supply drive here.

We started the week with only three buses full of supplies, so special thanks to everyone who showed up and donated during that final push last night! Volunteers have been sorting though items, and will begin distributing them among the following school districts:

Catalina Foothills
Flowing Wells
Tanque Verde

Contact your school district for details on how, when and where these supplies will be distributed.
Thank you to everyone who donated for making this one of the best "4 Our Kids" School Supply Drives ever!

Check out these photos from the final drive, and pat yourself on the back, Tucson!

Pictured: Some brave men and women from Tucson Fire Department stopped by to drop off some supplies to the "4 Our Kids" campaign.

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3 years ago

Arizona schools fail to reach academic benchmarks

PHOENIX (AP) - A record 814 Arizona schools, or 42 percent, failed to get students to make adequate yearly progress in the 2010-11 school year, compared with 563 schools, or 29 percent, the previous year.

Schools will have to notify parents of the deficiency, and more schools could experience intervention by the state, The Arizona Republic reported Wednesday.

One of the main reasons for the jump was a higher passing requirement set by the state.

Arizona's Instrument to Measure Standards, or AIMS testing, in math and reading was ratcheted up about 10 points for the past school year.

For example, the required passing rates for the fourth-grade reading test shot up from 56 percent last year to 67 percent this year. In 2012, the required passing rate will jump to 78 percent and to 89 percent the year after.

Overall, in spring 2011, about six in 10 students passed the AIMS math test and three-fourths passed the reading test. Students in third through eighth grades and 10th grade take the tests.

Federal law requires rapid, steady educational progress for all students, including entire subgroups such as those learning English, living in poverty or in special education classes.

The failing schools cut across all categories and included suburban, rural districts, charter schools and inner-city schools.

"There were several factors that I think worked against us this year," Craig Pletenik, a spokesman for Phoenix Union High School District, told The Associated Press.

"This year, we had the increased (federal) standards that were raised significantly. And that combined with lower math scores throughout the district. Kind of a double whammy."

In the early years of the federal No Child Left Behind act, Arizona decided to gradually raise the required percentage for adequate progress. Now, with a 2014 deadline requiring that students pass standardized exams, the percentage must jump.

"The idea behind that was it gave schools some time to get ready," said Joe O'Reilly, student-achievement director for Mesa Public Schools, the state's largest district. "Also, I think the idea behind it, and I heard this expressed, was: Well, nine or 10 years from now, this system will change. And that hasn't happened."

After a decade of trying, and with 42 percent of schools failing to meet this year's passing rates, the state could find it difficult to achieve the 100 percent passing rate in three years.

Some states have asked for a waiver and want the U.S. Department of Education to write new rules for No Child Left Behind to change the way a school can be measured to meet the adequate yearly progress standard.

John Huppenthal, Arizona's superintendent of public instruction, hasn't asked for a waiver.

Arizona is still counting on Congress to revamp No Child Left Behind requirements and will wait until fall before deciding whether to ask for one, said Andrew LeFevre, an Arizona Department of Education spokesman.

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3 years ago

Park Place & Tucson Mall kick off back-to-school Shop til you Rock event

TUCSON - To make the school shopping experience a rockin' good time, Park Place and Tucson Mall will host Shop Til You Rock, a music-inspired mall tour that empowers teens to look and feel like rock stars.

Details for Park Place Mall
Date: July 30, 2011
Time: 1-6pm with live performances at 1pm and 5pm
Place: Park Place Mall, Food Court
Featuring live performances by: Starrset

Details for Tucson Mall
Date: July 30, 2011
Time: 1-6pm with live performances at 1pm and 5pm
Place: Tucson Mall, Center Court
Featuring live performances by: Manika

Fans can meet the band in person at the event stage following each show. The live, in-mall music performances will be complemented with cool activity stations designed exclusively for teens, including:

Center Stage- Center stage features an event emcee/DJ, freeze modeling and nonstop fun, including games, trivia and a prize wheel.

Gaming Station - Experience and play one of today's hottest games, "Just Dance2." This fun and interactive station includes discount offers, fan challenges and prizes.

"DIY" Station - Get creative and customize apparel and hats with a variety of cool airbrush designs.

Band Meet & Greets- Fans get up close and personal with featured bands and have an opportunity to purchase their music and promotional merchandise.

PEPSI®Refresh Lounge -Teens trade in PEPSI® bottle caps to receive a PEPSI® branded drawstring bag. Plus, they'll have a chance to vote for their favorite PEPSI REFRESH PROJECT® and make a difference.

Shop Til You Rock also rewards shoppers with a $20 mall gift card, while supplies last, when they spend $150 or more during the event. Teens can enter for a chance to win valuable shopping sprees and a gaming system. Visit www.ShopTilYouRock.com for a complete list of event dates, bands and play-lists or download the exclusive Shop Til You Rock iPhone app.

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3 years ago

Immunization info for kids going back to school

TUCSON - With five immunization clinics around Southern Arizona run by the Pima County Health Department, and free immunizations offered by El Rio, there are plenty of opportunities to have your child immunized before the school year begins.

Here is a complete list of the PCHD immunization clinics, and the dates and times that they will be providing immunity shots for children going back to school:

(520) 243-2850
3550 N. FIRST AVE, 85719
Wednesday - July 27 (9 am - noon)
Thursday - July 28 (1 pm - 7 pm)
Thursday - August 4 (1 pm - 7 pm)
Saturday - August 6 (9 am - noon)
Thursday - August 11 (1 pm - 7 pm)
Thursday - August 18 (1 pm - 7 pm)

(520) 825-9299
3535 E. HAWSER ST. 85739
Mondays - 7/25, 8/1, 8/8, 8/15 (1 - 4 pm)

(520) 889-9543
175 W. IRVINGTON RD. 85714
Tuesday - July 26 (1 pm - 6 pm)
Tuesday - August 2 (1 pm - 7 pm)
Wednesday - August 3 (9 am - noon)
Tuesday - August 9 (1 pm - 4 pm)
Saturday -August 13 (9 am - noon)
Tuesday - August 16 (1 pm - 4 pm)

(520) 298-3888
6920 E. BROADWAY 85710
Monday - July 25 (1 pm - 4 pm)
Monday - August 1 (1 pm - 4 pm)
Monday - August 8 (1 pm - 4 pm)
Wednesday - August 10 (9 am - noon)
Friday - August 12 (1 pm - 4 pm)
Monday - August 15 (1 pm - 7 pm)
Saturday - August 20 (9 am - noon)

(520) 648-1626
601 N. LA CANADA 85614
Wednesday - July 27 (1 pm - 4 pm)
Saturday - July 30 (9 am - noon)
Wednesday - August 3, 10, 17 (1 pm - 4 pm)

In addition, El Rio Community Health Center is offering free immunizations at these times and locations:

Thursday, July 28th from 3pm to 6pm at the Frank & Edith Morton Clubhouse, 3155 E. Grant Rd.

Saturday, July 30th from 10am to 2pm Holmes Tuttle Clubhouse, 2585 E. 36th St.

Saturday, August 6th from 10am to 2pm at the Pascua Yaqui Wellness Center, 5305 West Calle Torim

Parent or Guardian must be present. Don't forget to bring shot records!

For additional information, please contact our Foundation Office at 520-205-4947.

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3 years ago

'4 Our Kids' supply drive winds down

TONIGHT AT 10 - In less than 3 weeks, most Tucson area kids will be back in school, using pencils, paper and rulers, thanks in part to the school supplies our viewers have donated.

With less than a week left in our "4 Our Kids" school supply drive, we have an urgent call from the Sunnyside School District.

Tune in ot News 4 Tucson at 10 p.m. to watch this Kristi's Kids report.

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3 years ago

Governing board to hear proposals for empty TUSD buildings

TUCSON - For more than a year, 9 TUSD schools have sat empty, shut down by budget constraints.

More than 40 proposals for those buildings will be presented at a TUSD Governing Board meeting Tuesday evening. Interested parties include charter schools, churches, a community center and apartments.

Some applicants feel as though the process has been unfair.

"I don't think anything they are doing is fair, legal, just in the scope of helping children at all," said Raena Janes, Director of La Paloma Academy, a Tucson Charter School.

Frustrated, Janes wants to move some of her students into a new space.

"It could have happened this school year," Janes said.

La Paloma Academy is offering TUSD $2.1 million to purchase the now empty Reynolds Elementary School, but Janes says the district is not thrilled with the offer.

"They've made it very clear that charter school applicants would be not enthusiastically received," Janes said.

TUSD Governing Board President Mark Stegeman says he understands the issues that come along with inviting charter schools into old district buildings.

"I think judging from the public comments people have made, they are concerned about creating competition for some of our other schools that are struggling," Stegeman said.

Stegeman also says charter schools should not be taken off the table.

"The revenue and the money is important too," Stegeman said.

Janes says her offer still stands with the district. She is hoping to land and finalize the deal within a matter of months.

"Competition makes everybody better and when everyone is putting their best efforts forth for the children, that's when all schools can succeed," Janes said.

During executive session, the board is expected to begin looking at how to narrow down the proposals. Final agreements could come as early as September.

3 years ago

More school supplies in demand

TUCSON - The Tucson Association of Realtors says for all eight school districts to start the school year off right, they still need more supplies for students.

"We need Xerox paper, notebooks, calculators, pencils and pens are among the top," Laura Kruszewski said.

So far three buses have been filled to help families and their children during this struggling economy.

"They've all got budget cuts areas that have affected teachers and the students and families," Kruszewski said.

Silvia Barragan, a school bus driver says for four years she's been volunteering for Stuff the Bus and said every time she sees those supplies roll in; she knows it's going to make a huge difference in a child's education.

"They enjoy everything they get, and you can see their faces when they come in with the new stuff," Barragan said.

You can drop off a donation to any Walgreen's location, Tucson Association of Realtors, and at our midtown studio until August 1st; monetary donations will also be accepted.

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3 years ago

Time for back-to-school shopping

TUCSON - Students and their parents are flocking to area stores for back-to-school shopping.

At Bed, Bath & Beyond, shoppers can find the "pack and hold" service. Sarah Iszler, the manager, explained how it works: "Basically what you can do is go in to your local Bed, Bath and Beyond, pick out anything you might need for college, and then the store that's nearest the school that you're going to will hold merchandise ready for you to pick up whenever you're ready to move in."

Over at Target, shoppers can enjoy low prices like Crayola Crayons for less than $1. Judith, a grandmother, says she shops at Target to stay within her budget.

"I have a fixed income, I'm a senior citizen," she says.

For Vanessa Ochoa, gearing up for a new year means new school supplies: "I've got folders, binders, lots of paper because it tends to run out super-fast."

The City of Tucson says shoppers are a tad more confident this year, so far, spending about $8 million in 2011.

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3 years ago

Calendar of 2011 school start dates

TUCSON - Not sure when your student is heading back to school? Here is a calendar listing school start dates for Tucson's various school districts:

7/18/2011 Vail K-8 SCHOOL START
7/22/2011 Vail High School SCHOOL START
7/28/2011 Benson USD - SCHOOL START

Altar Valley - SCHOOL START

Flowing Wells - SCHOOL START


Sierra Vista - SCHOOL START



Sahuarita - SCHOOL START

Tombstone - SCHOOL START



Continental - SCHOOL START


Sunnyside - SCHOOL START


Catalina Foothills - SCHOOL START

Tanque Verde - SCHOOL START

Mammoth/San Manuel - SCHOOL START

8/15/2011 Ajo USD - SCHOOL START
8/19/2011 Pima CC - In Service (1pm)
8/24/2011 Pima CC SCHOOL START
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3 years ago

Free back to school immunizations available today

TUCSON - Kids of all ages are getting ready to go back to class but they will need to update their immunizations before they do.

Though the shots may be painful, the El Rio Community Health Center is making the process a little easier by providing four free immunization fairs over the next few weeks.

The first fair happens today, from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Boys and Girls Club Jim & Vicki Click Clubhouse (1935 South Columbus Blvd). Parents or legal guardians must be present. You are asked to bring your child's shot record with you if possible.

Each year, the list of recommended vaccinations seems to change. Leslie Maier knows how important these changes can be.

"My son died when he was 17 from a vaccine preventable disease, meningococcal meningitis," Maier said.

It was 2005 and in less than 24 hours, Maier's son Chris became ill and was gone. Maier believes if Chris had been vaccinated he would be here, celebrating his 24th birthday this week.

"He would be out there working, contributing to the world, I think he would still be having lots of fun," Maier said.

Maier says Chris would also want other parents to know this can happen to anyone, but it does not have to.

"They should be finding out that there are other vaccines that are new vaccines that are coming out that can prevent their children from dying in less than 24 hours," Maier said.

In fact, this year recommendations for the meningitis vaccine have changed. Doctors now say teens 16 and up should get an additional booster dose of the vaccine.

Physicians also say the HPV vaccine is no longer just for pre-teen and teenage girls. Young men should also be immunized against HPV.

Dr. Andrew Arthur, a pediatrician with the El Rio Community Health Center, says all of these vaccines are critical at this time of the year.

"There are many things that people share when they go to school. They share high fives, they share handshakes, and they share hugs with best friends and books and pencils and unfortunately they share germs," Arthur said.

The goal at El Rio's four immunization fairs this year is to vaccinate hundreds of Tucson kids.

"By getting immunizations, children are helping protect themselves with their armor before they go out into that big world with many many germs out there," Arthur said.

Free dental screenings will also be available at the immunization fairs.

The Tucson Federal Credit Union donated $25 thousand to make the clinics possible. Other local sponsors include Sol Casinos and Tucson Electric Power.

A parent or legal guardian is required. A shot record is highly recommended.

Times and locations of all clinics are below:

Thursday, July 26, 3 - 6 p.m.
Boys and Girls Club
Jim & Vicki Click Clubhouse (1935 South Columbus Blvd)

Thursday, July 28, 3 - 6 p.m.
Boys and Girls Club
Frank & Edith Morton Clubhouse (3155 East Grant Road)

Saturday, July 30, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Boys and Girls Club
Holmes Tuttle Clubhouse (2585 East 36th Street)

Saturday, August 6, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Pascua Yaqui Wellness Center (5305 West Calle Torim)

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3 years ago

Tucson groups partner for free back-to-school immunizations

TUCSON - The El Rio Community Health Center, Tucson Federal Credit Union, Boys and Girls Clubs of Tucson, Sol Casinos, Tucson Electric & Tucson Medical Center have once again partnered up to get students ready to head back to school.

The El Rio Health Center Foundation will offer families multiple services. They have also extended the weekday options to later afternoon and after 5:00 pm to accommodate working parents. The Boys and Girls Clubs of Tucson will be offering parents free after school fall enrollment at the events and Tucson Medical Center will measure children and provide free car seats.

El Rio's Dental Department has seen an increase in children with no dental insurance. They will provide free children's dental screenings and fluoride varnish treatments. Additionally, uninsured families can learn more about different community services and various healthcare coverage options.

In 2010 El Rio staffs administered over 1375 immunizations at the "back to school immunization clinics" held at the Boys and Girls Clubs and Pascua Yaqui Wellness Center.

"The number of families with no insurance in our community is growing. More people than ever need our help to keep their children healthy. It's imperative that we continue to collaborate to help families provide high quality care for their children," notes Goldsmith.

This year, El Rio is receiving financial support from Tucson Federal Credit Union, Sol Casinos, an Enterprise of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, and Tucson Electric Power to help fund El Rio's immunization program.

Shots will be given to children ages 5-18 years old with a parent or guardian present and their shot record.


Thursday- July 21, 2011
3:00 - 6:00 pm
Jim & Vicki Click Clubhouse
1935 South Columbus - Tucson, AZ 85712

Thursday- July 28, 2011
3:00 - 6:00 pm
Frank & Edith Morton Clubhouse
3155 East Grant - Tucson, AZ 85716

Saturday- July 30, 2011
10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Holmes Tuttle Clubhouse
2585 East 36th Street - Tucson, AZ 85713

Saturday- August 6, 2011
10:00 am to 2:00 pm
Pascua Yaqui Wellness Center
5305 West Calle Torim - Tucson, AZ 85757

Event organizers stress how easy it is for parents of school age children to get caught off guard when enrolling their students for school. Many times parents forget new immunizations are required until the school nurse notifies them that their kids will be kept out of school until compliant.

Interested families can call 205-4947 for more information.

3 years ago

'Freecycle' your school supplies at event next month

TUCSON - Freecycle, a Tucson-based organization that operates an international website that allows users to freely exchange items, will be at Pima County Libraries next month for a "Back to School Swap."

Participants will be able to bring in items in good condition to one of three Pima County libraries on August 6, and trade for items brought in by others, library officials say. Clean clothes, books, or household items that are no longer being used can find a new home at the Freecycle swap.

Participants are asked not to bring in large items - no refrigerators or motorcycles. Only those who bring in items themselves can participate in the swap, and any leftover items will be donated to local thrift stores or organizations.

The Back to School Swap will be on Saturday, August 6, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the following libraries:

  • Joel D. Valdez Main Library - 101 N. Stone Ave., One hour free parking in the parking garage at the Library.
  • Valencia Branch Library -202 W. Valencia Road
  • Eckstrom-Columbus Branch Library - 4350 E. 22 St.

Freecycle is "nonprofit, grassroots movement of people giving and getting items for free," according to representatives with the group. "The swaps are an easy ‘green' way to recycle perfectly good items, and a great way to prevent clutter or prevent these items from needlessly ending up in landfills."

Click here for more on Freecylce, and click here for a complete list of Pima County Public Library events.

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3 years ago

How you can help with school supplies "4" our kids

TONIGHT AT 10 - In 41 days - less than six weeks - the summer break will be over.

Kids will be coming back to school, and some of them won't have the supplies they need to succeed.

Kristi's Kids is teaming up with the Tucson Association of Realtors and Walgreens to gather supplies "4" Our Kids.

Last year, we filled four busses - this year, we hope to full even more!

Tune in to News 4 Tucson at 10 p.m. For full details on how you can help.

For information on dropping off supplies today, click here.

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3 years ago

'4 Our Kids' School Supply Drive launches

TUCSON - Pencils, pens, paper - it takes a lot to get a child prepared for a new school year.

This year, News 4 Tucson wants to make sure every child has all the tools they need to learn, and here's how you can help:

Join in with Tucson-area Walgreens and the Tucson Association of Realtors for Kristi's Kids "4 Our Kids" school supply drive.

Throughout the month of July, you can help our kids by dropping off school supplies at your neighborhood Walgreens.

"4 Our Kids" School supply drive - let's help our kids get ready to learn.

Here is a list of drop-off locations:

Donations can also be dropped off at the KVOA studios, located north of downtown at 209 W. Elm St, at the Tucson Children's Museum, located at 200 S 6th Ave., or any Tucson-area Buffalo Exchange location.

Here is the list of needed supplies:

  • 2 notebook binder
  • 3 Ring Binders
  • 3x5 Note Cards
  • Assorted Stickers
  • Colored Pencils
  • Construction Paper
  • Crayons
  • Dry Erase Markers
  • Easel Pads
  • Glue Sticks
  • Hand Held Pencil Sharpeners
  • Highlighters
  • Kleenex
  • Lined Notebook Paper
  • Markers
  • Newsprint Paper
  • Notebook Paper
  • Paper Clips
  • Pencils

  • Pens
  • Poster Board
  • Printer Paper
  • Safty Scissors
  • Scissors
  • Spiral Notebooks
  • Tape
  • Erasers
  • Folders
  • Glue

Here is video from the 2010 '4 Our Kids' school drive:

Courtesy YouTube

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