Wellness Program Engages Granville Elementary Students

Strep throat. Pink eye. Flu. Not exactly what you want your kids to bring home from school, especially before the holidays. Thanks to the Licking County Health Department and a grant from the Granville Community Foundation, Granville third graders will be taking extra special care to keep their holidays (and yours) healthy. 

If you’re a parent or grandparent, you know that simply telling children to cough into their elbow or wash their hands sometimes falls on deaf ears. That’s when it’s helpful to bring in the experts. Ashley See, Health Education Supervisor at LCHD, knows a thing or two about making an impression on third-graders. 

Last week, Ms. See had third graders at Granville Elementary School rapt with attention. Hands flew in the air as she asked how many bacteria fit on the tip of a pencil (10,000!) and how fast a sneeze can travel (80-100 miles/hour!). Ears perked up as she described the immune system as an army with two good soldiers (white blood cells and antibodies). And there was no shortage of volunteers when it came time to demonstrate how far germs travel with the help of talcum powder and a bicycle pump. (Apparently, germs can travel quite the distance as a cloud of talcum powder demonstrated).

Ms. See’s presentation on “Communicable Diseases” last week was just one of many presentations given to third graders throughout the year as part of LCHD’s Third Grade Partners in Wellness Program. During these presentations, students explore physical, emotional, and social health through interactive activities, experiments, and role playing. Topics range from heart health and proper nutrition to smoking prevention and stress management.

While the Granville Community Foundation grant specifically supports presentations to students at Granville Elementary School and Granville Christian Academy, LCHD’s Partners in Wellness Program extends to 10 school districts reaching 1400 third grade students in 56 classrooms with the help of a variety of sponsors. 

Ms. See wrapped up her presentation (unfazed by the talcum powder on her clothes) with one more experiment. Students were asked to place their finger print in a petrie dish donated by Licking Memorial Hospital. The petrie dish will remain sealed in the classroom for several weeks after which students will be treated to a visual of the bacteria growth.

The mission statement on the Licking County Health Department’s home page reads: “Improving the health and quality of life for individuals, families, and communities through prevention and wellness.” The Granville Community Foundation is grateful to LCHD for making a difference in the health and wellness of our community. Thank you!