MARIETTA - "Now rinse away the dirt and stains. Send those germs down the drain," Barbara Peery's first-grade class loudly sang Friday afternoon as they learned about proper hand washing techniques at Warren Elementary School.
More than 20 hands eagerly shot up when students from the Washington County Career Center's Patient Health Care Program asked the first-graders why proper hand-washing techniques were important.
"So you don't spread germs around," shouted one excited student.
"So you can dry them," yelled another.
Yet another student added that you should cough into your elbow.
"I know cause I have a cough," she said.
Hand Washing Tips
* Wet your hands with running water.
* Apply liquid, bar or powder soap.
* Remember to scrub all surfaces, including the backs of your hands, wrists, between your fingers and under your fingernails for at least 20 seconds.
* Rinse then dry your hands with a clean or disposable towel or air dryer.
Source: The Mayo Clinic.
Seniors in the career center's Patient Health Care Program taught the hand-washing lesson at Barlow-Vincent Elementary School Friday morning and then assisted juniors in the program with the afternoon lesson at Warren.
"We teach them the proper way to wash their hands so they do not spread germs around and get each other sick," said career center junior Kayleigh Butler.
After they proved their already impressive germ knowledge, the boisterous first-graders sang a few rousing rounds of the germ song, which taught them the techniques for washing away those pesky, hard-to-reach germs.
"Inside, outside, my fingers, too. Around my thumbs and then I'm through," they sang as they mimicked the techniques.
Then they gathered in a circle to pass around a ball and name a good time to wash one's hands.
"Everyday!" exclaimed Ethan Berg when he received the ball.
"After you go to the bathroom," added Tyler Butcher-Ennesser.
"After I catch bugs outside like caterpillars and butterflies," said Laney Tullius.
The students might not have realized that while they were passing around the ball they were also gathering germs, but they soon found out. Viewing their hands inside a special black light box, the students marveled at all of the germs they had accumulated.
"Whoa," said Butcher-Ennesser, as he looked at all of the purple splotches that highlighted where the germs were on his hands.
After the students viewed their germs, they were sent to the bathroom to try out their new hand-washing techniques. Not forgetting to wash all over first and then wash between the fingers, under the fingernails and around the wrists, the students returned to the box to see how well they had done.
"Wow. You did a really good job," said career center junior Cheyenne Woodburn as many of the students came back completely germ free.
Proudly displaying his clean hands to his classmates, Clay Carpenter returned to his seat.
"I got all the germs off!" he exclaimed as he sat down.