Saturday, April 14, 2012

Wash Your Hands, Rhode Island!

Winter may be over, but germs don't pay attention to the calendar. The best way to prevent germs from spreading in any season is hand washing.

Wash Your Hands is the simple but effective title of a public health and awareness initiative to be launched by the Rhode Island Department of Health in cooperation with the Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education mid-April in schools statewide. Governor Lincoln Chafee also proclaimed April 15 - 21 Hand Washing Week in Rhode Island! The centerpiece of the campaign is a catchy tune by the same title. Wash Your Hands, composed by two-time GRAMMY® Award winning artist, Bill Harley, is a music video produced by WSBE Rhode Island PBS.

The three-minute music video premiered on Rhode Island PBS at 9:30 A.M. on Saturday, April 14, but after that, you can catch a shorter one-minute version all over the schedule on both of our channels, Rhode Island PBS (digital 36.1, Cox/Verizon/Full Channel 08; Dish 7776; DirecTV 36; Comcast 818HD), and Learn (digital 36.2, Cox 808, Verizon 478, Full Channel 109, Comcast 294 or 312).

Schoolkids can look for the colorful posters in their school restrooms when they get back from spring vacation. The posters have the song's hand washing instructions “by the numbers.” We also have a Web site with links for more information at, where you can watch the video, listen to the song, and download the posters.

The children who appeared in the video were invited with their parents to WSBE studios on April 11 for a preview party with the production team. We had a blast! Project partners Bill Harley, Dr. Michael Fine, director of the Department of Health, and David Piccerelli, the president of WSBE explained the project. Also there to share their enthusiasm about spreading the hand washing message in the community were Linda Mendonca, president of the Rhode Island Certified School Nurse Teachers organization, Dr. Elizabeth Lange of the Rhode Island Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Dr. Margaret Sun of the Rhode Island Academy of Family Physicians, and Dr. Alyn Adrain, president-elect of the Rhode Island Medical Society.  Yummy sandwiches for the preview party were provided by Jersey Mike's Subs.

Remember, Wash Your Hands!

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