On Thursday, pre-kindergarten students at the FitzPatrick School showed off their hand-washing skills with officials from the School District of Philadelphia. This was the final phase of a pilot hygiene education program run by Essity, a hygiene and health company. The program started in January and has educated 200 pre-K students at both FitzPatrick and Pratt schools on how to properly wash their hands.

 

Students first took part in a “black light test,” and examined how dirty their hands were under a black light. Then they washed their hands with soap and water, using the techniques they had learned over the past few months. Afterward, students examined their hands under the black light to see how clean their hands were.

 

The District said it wanted to implement the program to combat one of the worst flu seasons the city has seen in recent years. By teaching young students hand hygiene, the District hopes to keep students in schools healthy and prevent illness. The partnership is also intended to lead to a study at Temple University’s College of Public Health about "the impact hand hygiene has on student behavior," according to the School District.