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Immunize Kansas Coalition Hosts Educational Booth at Community Arts & Crafts Fair

On October 8-9th, Immunize Kansas Coalition (IKC) hosted an educational booth at the Pumpkin Patch Arts & Crafts Fair in Manhattan, KS in partnership with Vaccinate Your Family (VYF). IKC received funding from VYF's "A Fair Shot" grant opportunity designed to support vaccination efforts in rural areas. The fall themed booth was continuously busy with a wide variety of educational materials, vaccine trivia, a vaccine themed raffle, and even the opportunity to receive a Moderna COVID-19 vaccine!

Undergraduate students in the Communication Studies senior capstone course at Kansas State University collaborated with IKC to staff the booth. This semester the class focus is in civil discourse centered around vaccination. The IKC booth event was an opportunity for students to have a real-world opportunity engaging with the public on the topic, while helping increase awareness about the importance of vaccinations. To prepare students, IKC staff shared resources and provided a training session to build students' knowledge and confidence to talk with booth visitors and answer their questions. K-State student participation in the event was key to staffing the booth over two days, and IKC appreciated the students' perspectives, professionalism and enthusiasm that brought fresh energy to the booth and new ideas for future events.

We want to thank our immunization partners at Vaccinate Your Family, as well as Kansas State Research and Extension (KSRE), Candlewood Health Mart Pharmacy, and the Communication Studies students at Kansas State University for making this possible!
Lessons learned shared from K-State students and IKC staff:
  • Use local events to make new partners, both those already in the vaccination space (like local pharmacists, health departments, and clinics) and those not typically in the vaccination space (like university students, community groups, local businesses, etc.). It’s an easy way to invite them into this work!
  • Activities like vaccine trivia (complete with a colorful, spinning wheel) and a vaccine themed raffle basket caught people’s eye and sparked interactions.
  • Assign a “greeter” to stand in front of the booth and engage and invite people walking by to participate in the booth.
  • Plan the data you would like to collect, and assign someone to monitor and track.
  • Make your space feel inviting by using fun, colorful decorations to create a welcoming, non-threatening space. We went with a fall theme to match the fair’s theme.
  • Promote as you go. Continue to promote your event while the event is happening with handout flyers, posters, and social media.
  • Incorporate an easy ask into your greeting such as "Would you like to play vaccine trivia?"
  • Sometimes simply asking "How are you?" or saying "Good morning!" helped to spark conversation and make people feel more comfortable talking about vaccines.
  • Create a schedule for volunteers and aim for 2-4 volunteers at any given time (more people = more energy)
  • And just be yourself, show empathy, and have fun with it!