It Takes Backbone to Test True Cleanliness

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), March 11, 1997 | Go to article overview

It Takes Backbone to Test True Cleanliness


Byline: Edman, Hart & Nickerson

Hairy situation

Go on, admit it.

There are days when your hair goes limp, frizzes out of control or won't behave no matter how much gel and spritz you use.

It's a bad hair day.

They sneak up on most people - usually sometime between getting out of bed and going somewhere important. But at Longwood Elementary School in Naperville, Bad Hair Day was a scheduled event.

Students usually show their school spirit on the first Friday of each month by wearing clothes in Longwood's red and blue to class. Lately, the Parent Teacher Association has been adding a little spice to Spirit Days and dared children and teachers on Friday to show off their worst coif.

They came with bed head and with mohawks. They used barrettes and rubber bands. And they were just getting started.

Boys in first grade took the Dennis Rodman approach and died their nearly shaved heads red and blue. A brother-sister team coated their hair in glitter, and a boy in fifth grade spent the day in a curly blonde ladies' wig.

But two fourth-grade girls had teachers and students popping into their classrooms to get a look at their hairdos, which were reminiscent of famous hair disasters.

One braided her hair (a good trick to cover up a bad hair day), but rigged it up with coat hangers to look like Pippi Longstocking.

The other girl took a natural approach and carried an ordinary bad hair day to an extreme. Her curly hair stood up and out from her head as if it were done by the Bride of Frankenstein's hair dresser.

So the next time a bad hair day strikes, just tell everyone you're showing your spirit.

Clean? Think again

When you're young and free, say around the age of 7 or so, eating stuff like Pop-Tarts all day and never washing your hands before eating seems like heaven.

Well, it isn't. And Pheasant Ridge Elementary School P.E. teacher Kathy Houston used some unusual props to get the message across.

Glo-germ and a blue light did the trick.

Kids' hands were sprayed with the mystery substance. Then they were told to wash up. They put their hands under a blue-light to see what Glo-germ remained. Guess what?

Few hands were immaculate, though that wasn't for lack of effort.

"They scrubbed better than they'd probably scrubbed all week," Houston said.

The creative way at examining hygiene was all part of the first health fair organized at the Glendale Heights school and aimed at kindergarten through third-grade students and their parents. More than 300 people took the health fair tour.

"It was to help kids make better choices for their overall well-being," Houston said. "There are choices out there, and you are responsible for making them."

Offerings for the families included booths with a mix of health associations, lessons on bicycling safety, proper bus etiquette - be it sitting on or waiting for the bus, and ways to avoid spine and brain injuries. …

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