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Effective immediately, all children ages 12-15 are eligible to receive the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine, meaning all state residents ages 12 and up can now be protected against COVID-19. The Rensselaer County Health Department will be hosting a Pfizer Vaccine Clinic for 12 to 15 year olds at the McDonough Sports Complex at Hudson Valley Community College on Friday, May 14 from 3:00-6:00 p.m. Children must be accompanied by a parent and bring proof of age. This is a walk-in clinic. No appointment is necessary.

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The force was strong at Goff Middle School on Thursday as educators harnessed their students’ excitement for the new Star Wars movie as a way to encourage learning. From English to technology, and art to reading, teachers applied Star Wars themes to their lessons in conjunction with the movie’s premiere.

Students and staff wore Star Wars costumes and space-related apparel, including Principal Wayne Grignon who was dressed as Chewbacca. Standing on stilts to imitate the height of a Wookiee, he greeted students outside as they entered school in the morning.

“It was a very energetic day which brought student enthusiasm together with teacher ingenuity for the betterment of our school,” Mr. Grignon said. “I am very proud of everyone and how this day turned out for our students.”

Mr. Grignon and his Jedi teaching staff promoted this special day as a way to bring more fun to the classroom.

Students created Star Wars keychains using a 3-D printer, drummed along to music from the films, illustrated droids and learned coding to control robots.

English teacher Sean Crall, dressed as a Jedi knight, introduced the word of the week “demise” by playing a clip from “The Empire Strikes Back” and having the students use the word in their writing.

“School is supposed to be fun,” Mr. Crall said. “Star Wars Day is one of the many ways we’ve tried to bring back some fun for students and teachers that has been forced out of education by outside pressures. As I always say, if you can’t have fun when you are 11 or 12, how are you going to do it when you are 52?”