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Fit to Be Taught, Vol.23

Germs "Spread" Into School Curriculum: Handwashing Saves the Day!


People -- kids and adults! -- do not wash their hands as often or as well as they think they do, risking poor health and the spread of infection. That was the finding of a 1998 survey of people's handwashing habits conducted in public restrooms across the United States by the American Society of Microbiology (ASM) and Bayer Corporation's Pharmaceutical Division.

In response to a survey that found that almost one third of people do not wash their hands after using the bathroom, Bayer and the American Society of Microbiology (ASM) launched Operation Clean Hands, a campaign to educate Americans about health risks associated with poor handwashing habits.

In Baltimore, Maryland, Jacquetta Conwell, a concerned working mother, spearheaded an effort to include handwashing education in Baltimore's schools. In some Baltimore schools, soap and paper towels had been in scarce supply before Conwell came along!

In Lubbock, Texas, Annette Moore, a registered nurse at Methodist Hospital, coordinated Operation Clean Hands Day. Handwashing education took place throughout the community -- from nursery schools to the university. Thanks to Moore's efforts, handwashing education also found its way onto billboards and radio and cable TV programs in Lubbock.

"Handwashing is the single most important thing people can do to prevent the spread of germs," Moore says.

Read the full article on Education World

Wellness News
Dance Sweeps into P.E. Since dancing was introduced to P.E. class, it has become the most popular class at an Indianapolis middle school.

Schools, Stores Steer Kids from Soda Boston school and health officials are teaming up with convenience stores near middle schools to steer students away from sodas and toward more healthful drinks.

Learning to Cook With Fresh Foods

To connect healthy eating with fun experiences, the CookShop program engages New York City students in classroom-based cooking activities that feature wholesome, plant-based foods. Integrating CookShop foods and recipes into the school lunch program complements classroom work and provides repeated exposure to fresh, minimally processed fruits, vegetables, and grains, increasing the likelihood students will incorporate these foods into their diets.

During the 12-week program, classroom teachers partner with local university students and parent volunteers to deliver weekly lessons on whole foods to public school students using CookShop's curriculum guide. Each lesson focuses on a particular plant food, such as apples, broccoli, carrots, potatoes, or beans. The format of each lesson consists of:

  • a letter from a farmer describing how the food grows;
  • a life-science component describing parts of the plant;
  • an easily prepared plant-based recipe;
  • a hands-on cooking lesson and food tasting;
  • lists of recommended reading and vocabulary words;
  • instructions for related projects such as composting and planting;
  • and lesson plans in subjects like social studies and math related to the day's food.
Students keep a CookShop Journal documenting their experiences about the lesson. Children also take field trips to gardens, museums, and food production sites. Teachers are encouraged to include CookShop concepts when teaching other subject areas such as reading, writing, science, and social studies.

Read more about this program at: CookShop Program.

Click to learn more about Action for Healthy Kids.

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