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National Handwashing Awareness Week is December 2-8. But it doesn’t matter if you are just learning about this important “holiday”. Every day is a good day to celebrate handwashing! Clean hands prevent the spreading of germs which in turn helps to prevent sickness and that also promotes healthy habits.

Bradford-Tioga Head Start, Inc. will be building on their PBIS rule to “Be Responsible” by teaching the children that responsible children don’t spread germs! They will learn that regular handwashing is one of the best ways to remove germs, avoid getting sick, and prevent the spread of germs to others. When asked why this is important, Phyllis Marriner, Education Supervisor stated, “It is essential to teach children why and when they need to wash their hands, and to make it fun!”

Bradford-Tioga Head Start, Inc. Teachers and Family Partners will choose a day during the month of December to complete an activity. During that time, they will teach the children about handwashing. They will chose a fun "hands on" hand washing activity. The activity will teach children about the importance of hand washing and include the five steps to proper handwashing as outlined by the Center for Disease Control. Those steps are as follows:

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

Each children will also get a small bar of soap with a card attached. One side of the card will be the statement "Handwashing is your superpower!" and the other side will be printed with a hand washing song that parents can sing with their children. The children can then "teach" their parents what they learned at school about the importance of hand washing.

The Center for Disease Control believes that, "handwashing is a win for everyone, except the germs." Bradford-Tioga Head Start, Inc. agrees, hands down!