Second-grader Selena Mancilla, 8, interacts with a virtual hand-washing exhibit on the Lysol Health Habits tour bus. (Staff Photo: Johnny Jackson)
HAMPTON — The children quickly grew more energized as the sun rose above the tree line at Kemp Primary School. They were happy to learn how to properly wash their hands and clean germs from common surfaces.
Laetavius Porter and Chaunelle Cross-Watt transformed from quiet second-graders into active players in the proper hygiene and cleanliness games presented this week by the Lysol Healthy Habits Schools Program.
The program is conducted in collaboration with the National Education Association and the National Parent Teacher Association. It is part of a bus tour to schools throughout the Midwest, East and Southeast, said Rachael Harris, senior production coordinator for Havas Impact which organized the bus tour on behalf of Lysol.
Harris said Kemp Primary was the last stop on that tour, which began in June. The school was also the winner of a Healthy Habits grant worth $15,000 in cash and a year’s supply of Lysol products.
Principal Dr. Brenda Cloud said she was grateful to the Lysol partnership, which also provides schools with a personal hygiene and cleanliness curriculum.
“We are so excited about winning the $15,000 from Lysol because it allows our children to get a different perspective of Healthy Habits,” said Cloud, pointing to the school’s focus on teaching proper hygiene.
Second-grade teacher Mary Bedford said proper hygiene practices have had other beneficial consequences as well. She said she has seen fewer absences due to sickness among her students.
One of her students, Selena Mancilla, learned different ways to limit the germs she and others come in contact with everyday.
She participated in several interactive stations on the tour bus — one teaching students how to properly wash their hands, one showing them what happens when they sneeze and another demonstrating how to disinfect frequently used household surfaces.
“I learned that those germs can be on doors when you open them,” said Mancilla, 8.
Assistant tour managers Jeremiah Kemp and Amy Lilly interacted with the children this week, singing songs and using fuzzy props to get their point across about proper hygiene.
Dr. Olivia Broxey, an English to Speakers of Other Languages teacher, said the lessons are “definitely part of the instruction I give.”
Broxey chairs the school’s grant writing team which wrote the grant application to Lysol. The school has plans to spend the grant on iPads for the media center to help with literacy instruction school-wide.
Broxey said she believes using the technology will help teachers engage students in the medium this generation is most familiar with — digital.
“We teach a different type of child than we did 50 years ago,” she said. “We’ve got to reach our learners where they are.”
Assistant Principal Dr. Lee Clinton Buddy expects the school will have the devices within the month for immediate use in the classroom.
“Our goal is to have iPads one-on-one,” said Buddy.
Counselor Annette McCraw said the school will start with the kids who need more intensive literacy instruction.
“By the end of kindergarten, we want all our kids to be able to read,” said McCraw. “We want them to be able to compete globally.”