Claypool Elementary School and the American Red Cross instructed 40 kindergarten students on the importance of correct hand washing procedure.
The program, which was headed by the Red Cross’s Kim Komdeur, featured a discussion on the nature of germs, a hand washing demonstration, instructional video and a black-light presentation of germs on students’ hands with members of Lydia Gawthrop and Marla Doyle’s kindergarten classes.
The program began with students identifying what germs are and the difference between good bacteria and bad bacteria. Following the discussion, Komdeur provided students with a demonstration on the importance of using soap when washing hands, utilizing cooking spray and cinnamon to act as germs. Students then watched a video featuring Scrubby Bear in action. Lastly, Komdeur passed around a
book to students that had been sprayed with “clue spray,” a spray used by the FBI to locate fingerprints and particles. After touching the book, students examined their hands under a purple “glitter bug” that held a black light. The light allowed students to see the residue left behind by touching an object contaminated with fake germs.
Next, students were asked to wash their hands thoroughly and return to the black light to re-examine their hands after correct hand washing measures were taken.
“The Scrubby Bear program started in a children’s hospital to teach parents, doctors and staff the importance of washing hands correctly,” stated Komdeur. “This is the first touch with Red Cross for children.”
According to Komdeur, the Red Cross also hosts several swimming, boating safety and lifeguarding courses to keep local children safe in Kosciusko County’s numerous lakes. In addition, students are taught hiking safety as well as CPR training in the fourth grade.
The program, which is new to the Kosciusko County area, has been utilized in several other communities by the Red Cross to help promote proper hand washing technique in elementary schools. Claypool Elementary School was the first local school to host the program for students with Lincoln Elementary to follow next week.
After seeing the Scrubby Bear program in other communities Komdeur, who has been with the Red Cross for two years, had the idea to bring the program to local schools. She plans to travel to other Warsaw area elementary schools and hopes to possibly visit Wawasee and Whitko area schools as well.