Lake Highlands High 2002 grad Maggie O’Connor Karnowski, now working as a counselor at the school, recently volunteered with Richardson ISD colleagues Jessica Sloan and Samantha Hernandez at a COVID vaccine registration event hosted in Dallas’ southern sector by City Councilman Jaime Resendez. Sloan, RISD’s director of world languages, and Hernandez, the district’s manager of learning systems and digital resources, teamed up with Karnowski Saturday to offer a similar registration clinic at Forest Meadow Junior High.
“FEMA is targeting 17 ZIP codes in Dallas County, and Judge Jenkins said there are more vaccines than people registered,” explained Karnowski. “This is due to a variety of reasons, such as a lack of reliable internet or a lack of comfort/knowledge to fill out the registration form online or by phone. Two of those targeted ZIP codes – 75243 and 75231 – are in RISD, so we knew we wanted to use our resources and knowledge of the area to get people registered.”
The organizers duplicated Resendez’ event using RISD devices, the wifi connection at FMJH, and coworkers and friends serving as volunteers. They advertised with flyers in shopping centers and at elementary schools, and RISD sent the flyer electronically.
“The day was a huge success,” said Karnowski. “We estimate 400 people registered for the vaccine due to that event. The weather was beautiful, the technology worked, and the line was consistent but never got out of control. What amazed us most was how many RISD employees came for registration assistance, especially cafeteria workers, custodial staff, and aides who needed assistance. Many people were unaware they could just register at home using the Dallas County link and did not wait in line, while others preferred to wait and have a volunteer help them. Luckily, we had volunteers speaking English, Spanish, and French. We definitely could have used Vietnamese – at one point an RISD high schooler there to register his parents helped us work the line. We are thrilled at the outcome, which was 100% volunteer driven.”
You may register for the COVID vaccine online here.