This year I have made a pledge to myself to get a flu shot for the very first time in my life (at least as far as I can remember). I haven't avoided it because of a fear of needles or conspiracy theories about how the government uses it to track people. But for whatever reason, this is the first year that I've sought out the vaccine.
We're lucky that there seems to be more than enough of the flu vaccine to go around this year. But where's a girl to go for such a thing? I was ready for it to be a long, annoying process involving lots of phone calls and confusing instructions. Gosh, sometimes it's great to be wrong.
Launched last year, Flu.gov is meant to act as a centralized place to find information about influenza and the flu vaccine. It offers many helpful FAQs on various flu-related topics and, you know what? It also looks good and is easy to navigate. Weird! But the real boon here is that Health and Human Services partnered with Google.org to make it easy for people to find flu vaccines near them. By entering your location in the Flu Vaccine Finder, users are provided with a map of nearby locations, their hours of operation, the cost, and a link with more information. So now, I am left with just about zero excuses. Suddenly I think I might actually be afraid of needles.
Jumpstart, The Pearson Foundation, and We Give Books have teamed up this year for the annual Read for the Record campaign coming up on October 7th. The event encourages as many people as possible to come together on the same day to read a classic children's book. This year, the book is Ezra Jack Keats' The Snowy Day. Not only does Read for the Record encourage reading, it's also a way to promote the fantastic literacy work Jumpstart does in preschool classes across the country.
This year, the campaign has added some new features. As of September 7th, readers can actually access on online, digital version of the book to read. But the cool thing is that by reading the online version, people are not just adding to the Read for the Record number, they are also donating a print version of the book to children in Jumpstart classrooms. I tried it out today and was pleased at how easy it is. After reading the book, you are asked to register with your name and email address which I don't always love to do but feel it's well worth it in this situation.
If you have a minute and you're interested, check out the We Give Books site and register for Read for the Record.