Every Child By Two: Early Childhood Immunizations

Every Child By Two: Early Childhood Immunizations
Rosalynn Carter: Science, Medicine, Inventions and tech

Skill: Elementary School
Time Required: One to two class periods


One of the programs about which Rosalynn Carter cared deeply is Every Child by Two.  This is a program, developed by Rosalynn and Betty Bumpers, wife of the former U.S. Senator from Arkansas, Dale Bumpers, that promotes the timely immunization of young children.  Its goal is for every child in the United States to be immunized against childhood diseases before they turn two years old.


The purpose of this lesson is to acquaint students with the childhood illnesses against which we now have immunizations and to develop an awareness of the benefits of early immunization.   

Materials Required:

Access to the Internet; access to print reference materials; art supplies, including tag board, crayons, markers, etc.


1.  Have students consult the webpage for Every Child By Two (below) if possible.  If not, download materials appropriate for your class and present it to them.  Lead a discussion about preventable childhood illnesses such as measles, mumps, rubella, polio, whooping cough, and diphtheria.  Explain that these diseases, for which there are now vaccines, made many children sick in years past.  Also, note that smallpox has, for all but research purposes, been eradicated. 
2.  Working either individually or in small groups that the teacher establishes, have students create posters to warn parents of the continuing dangers of these diseases and the need for immunization against childhood diseases by age two.  Display the posters in the classroom and around the school as a reminder to all.

Extending the Lesson:

This is, perhaps, an excellent opportunity to invite the school nurse or other public health professional to visit the classroom to discuss immunizations, childhood illnesses, and strategies for young people to remain healthy.

Sources & Resources:

Every Child By Two 

For the Teacher
Immunization Timeline 

This lesson was developed by Bette Brooks, Kent State University.