Ds Scholarship

Haldane Student Wins Vaccination Scholarship

The award covers tuition, room, and board at SUNY or CUNY schools

COVID-19 vaccine footage has allowed Zadie Matthews to return to class at Haldane Elementary School.

They also send him to college for free.

Fully vaccinated Matthews returned to his fourth-graders on December 13, attending in-person lessons for the first time since Haldane’s school year began in September, when Dutchess and Putnam counties were facing a new wave of COVID-19 cases fueled by Delta’s type of virus that causes the disease.

Besides sharing a cafeteria meal again with friends, the 9-year-old Nelsonville resident had something else to celebrate that day: the news of winning a full scholarship to SUNY for two or four years or CUNY College ( CUNY) when he graduates from high school.

The award came via the state’s Immunization, Education and Graduate Program, which was launched in November to encourage parents and guardians to vaccinate children ages 5 to 11. Children who receive their first dose of the vaccine by December 19 can enter a fee to receive one of 50 scholarships covering tuition and room and board at a SUNY or CUNY school. The state began announcing 10 winners each week on November 27.

Eliza Matthews, Zadeh’s mother, initially thought that the email she received on December 13 from the state’s Higher Education Services, informing her that her son’s name was Picked up in the fourth round, it was a scam. Zadeh, the first winner from Dutchess or Putnam counties, was equally skeptical. “She was messing with me,” he said.

The cost of attending a four-year SUNY school, including housing, is approximately $27,000 per year, and a New York City school, approximately $32,000. For Zade and the other winners, the scholarships will also cover books, supplies, and transportation costs if they are traveling.

Elisa Matthews said she felt “instant lightness” when she realized the email was genuine. “It is such a huge burden that has been lifted.”

The Federal Food and Drug Administration first authorized a two-dose Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5 through 11 on October 29. Since then, Zade is one of about 400,000 New Yorkers in that age group who have received at least one dose and among the 230,000 who have been fully vaccinated as of Monday (December 20).

In Putnam County, 21 percent of children ages 5 to 11 had received at least one dose as of Monday, and in Dutchess, 22 percent.

Elisa Matthews said she was waiting for federal approval for vaccines for children younger than 12 and booked an appointment for Zade within days of being available. Her 13-year-old daughter was also vaccinated.

“We have members in our family who are at risk, so it meant a lot to us to protect and protect them,” she said, adding, “I want them to [children] Back to school I want them to live a normal life.”

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