by Dorothy Puch Lillig

Thousands of children went back to school in the Spring Branch Independent School District this year prepared with immunizations and supplies they otherwise may not have received had it not been for the Spring Branch Family Development Center (SBFDC).

The Spring Branch Management District was a proud sponsor of the SBFDC’s 13th annual Back-to-School Health Fair Aug. 4, which provided $580,000 worth of services and more immunizations than any back-to-school event in the Houston area, according to Ricardo Barnes, executive director of the SBFDC.

The crowd for this year’s health fair was not the largest crowd the center has had, but the organization provided immunization services to the largest number of children since the event’s inception.

“With the collaboration of more than 300 local volunteers, the nurses from the Spring Branch Independent School District and the Care Van Program from Blue Cross Blue Shield, we were able to provide much-needed services to the children and families that attended the event,” said Barnes.

Here are the numbers from this year’s event:

  • 1,500 children received immunization services
  • 3,000 children received backpacks & school supplies
  • 75 percent or more of those in attendance were students from Spring Branch ISD
  • 5,500 people were served in less than 4 hours
  • 78 adults received three different health screenings (hypertension, cholesterol and diabetes). “These diseases are prevalent among the population and can be better managed when information is provided early,” Barnes said.
  • 121 children received dental sealants from the City of Houston Bureau of Oral Health
  • 1,200 boxed lunches were distributed to children by the City of Houston Parks & Recreation Office
  • 42 community organizations represented
  • 300 volunteers from the greater community

The SBFDC provides enrichment and support services to a historically under-served population.

Serving over 12,000 Houstonians each year, the center exists to enhance the well-being and development of the families of Spring Branch through a multi-agency collaboration that provides educational, recreational, health and social services in English and Spanish.

“If children cannot start school on the first day, for whatever reason, they start falling behind. We want to ensure that all children in SBISD can start on the first day of school,” Barnes said. “This has many positive implications for SBISD, and is an economic boost to the area.”

While located in and focused on the Spring Branch area of Houston, with nearly two decades of experience serving the community with relevant resources, SBFDC serves families from more than 55 zip codes around Greater Houston, providing more than $11.5M worth of value to the community each year.

The SBFDC’s next big event is the Fall Fiesta, Oct. 27, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at 8575 Pitner Road, Houston. Contact the SBFDC is you would like to volunteer, provide a door prize or would like to plan or purchase materials for crafts for the children ages 3 to 5.

E-mail or call 713-996-8781.