GERMS BEWARE. Pupils and staff at Oklahoma Road Middle School are prepared to wage a battle.
Beginning yesterday, pupils at the Eldersburg school will be offered a prepackaged hand wipe to use before eating lunch in an effort to prevent the spread of germs.
"Hand washing with soap and water is the best method, but the wipes are an alternative to doing nothing," said Laurel Mosley, school nurse at Oklahoma Road and the driving force behind the pilot program.
In her job at the school, Mosley has been called upon to teach lessons in health and hygiene as part of the curriculum in several classes. Through these teaching experiences and from observing pupils in the cafeteria, Mosley realized that very few pupils took the opportunity to wash their hands before lunch.
"One of my pet causes has been to teach the kids how not to share their germs," said Mosley. "The No. 1 thing to prevent the spread of germs is proper and consistent hand washing, and the kids just aren't doing it."
Mosley took her concern to school administrators and the PTA, who backed her efforts to help stem the spread of germs, especially during winter when colds and viruses are prevalent.
After coming up with the idea to offer the hand wipes, Mosley turned her attention to area businesses for financial support.
DAVCO/Wendy's was approached and offered to fund the hand wipes for this school year.
"This is a fine example of the Business Education Partnership concept the school and the PTA have been working on," said Mosley. "We've been trying to involve the community and area businesses in a partnership in educating students."
Mosley plans to keep detailed data regarding the use of the wipes and the number of reported pupil illnesses this year and last year to find out whether the hand wipes are making a difference in the health of pupils. She also plans to involve pupils in this aspect of the effort.
"Wendy" was on hand yesterday to offer the wipes to pupils as they entered the cafeteria during lunch periods. A schoolwide poster contest and a series of "Germ Buster" commercials presented on the school's in-house morning news program are spurring pupil interest and enthusiasm for the effort.
Mosley is also encouraging parents to send wipes with their child's lunch. "For a couple of pennies a day, you are doing something to keep your child healthy," she said.
The Health, Safety and Special Needs Committee of Carrolltowne Elementary School PTA has planned an evening of classes for Carrolltowne pupils and siblings.
Presented in conjunction with the Tri-Star Martial Arts Academy in Eldersburg, the 30-minute classes will teach children about healthy bodies and minds, and will offer instruction in age-appropriate methods for self-defense.
The classes will be held at 5: 45 p.m. tomorrow in the gym at Carrolltowne Elementary.
Four half-hour sessions will be offered.
No fee is charged, but parents must complete a consent form for participation.
Information: the school, 410-795-5673.
Practice, practice and more practice has paid off for some Oklahoma Road Middle School instrumental music pupils who were recently recognized for their talent.
Eighth-grader Adam Loy was selected to participate in the All- State Band, and seventh-grader Brenda Harkins was selected for the All-State Orchestra.
Pupils named to the All-County Band were Michelle Carlquist, Meghan Cheswick, Adam Loy, Anna Novak, Rachel Novak, Edward Quick, Brandon Robertson, Brittany Tesch and Melissa Trumpler.
Pub Date: 1/12/99