HOUSTON – Nov. 12, 2020 – During its regular monthly meeting on Nov. 10, the Spring ISD Board of Trustees presented an Above and Beyond the Call of Duty (ABCD) award to longtime community partner Care Van, a nonprofit organization that comes annually to the district to provide free immunizations and other basic healthcare services to area families.
“They have long been friends to Spring ISD and supporters of our district family,” said Chief of Communications and Innovation Tiffany Dunne-Oldfield during her remarks to the board. “This year, especially, we are grateful for their efforts to keep students healthy and ready to learn.”
She also introduced and thanked Care Van Lead Nurse Alejandra Leal, who is retiring this year after more than a decade-and-a-half helping run the 501(c)(3) organization and serving families across Texas. Leal attended the board meeting via Zoom, where she was also praised by the district’s director of parent engagement, Tranita Carroll, who has worked with Leal for several years to plan Care Van visits and help get the word out to local families about the organization’s services and offerings.
“She draws a huge crowd at our annual Back-to-School Expo, where she was always the last person to leave because she wanted to make sure every child received their immunizations,” Carroll said. “She also travels to multiple campuses throughout the year to catch any student who didn’t participate in the Expo. She has truly made children’s health her ministry.”
With the 2020 Back-to-School Expo cancelled due to COVID-19, Carroll said that Leal and Care Van went beyond expectations to ensure the health and well-being of students.
“We had a difficult time finding an agency who was willing to provide the face-to-face interaction needed to immunize students,” Carroll told trustees. “Mrs. Leal, once again, answered the call and provided not one, but three immunization fairs for our students.”
This fall, along with the expanded immunization fair offerings, Care Van is also providing free flu shots, an addition Carroll said makes an especially big impact amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
“We have been incredibly blessed to serve thousands of students each year,” Carroll said. “I am thankful to be able to recognize Nurse Leal and the Texas Care Van program this evening for all that they’ve done for our students and for our families.”
Leal, who was back at the district’s Community Engagement Center this week to offer flu shots, said she had enjoyed working with students and families in Spring ISD ever since she was first invited by the district’s director of nursing and health services, Jeanne Parker.
“It’s been an honor just to work with the children and make sure they’re immunized and ready for school,” Leal said. “It’s nothing about me, it’s all about the children, and that’s who we work for. We work very hard to keep them in school and make sure they’re healthy and safe.”