Pune, 26th October, 2016: Did you know that only 53% of people in India wash hands with soap after defecation, 38% wash hands before eating and only 30% wash hands before preparing food (UNICEF). Researchers have found that the average pair of human hands is more unhygienic than escalators and benches in busy shopping centres and parks. Over 1.5 million children under five die each year as a result of diarrhoea, making it the second most common cause of child deaths worldwide. Pneumonia, is the number one cause of mortality among children under five years old, taking the lives of an estimated 1.8 million children per year1. All these child deaths can be prevented by adopting a regular habit of handwashing with soap. Handwashing is a significant habit that should be inculcated right from childhood as children are the most energetic, enthusiastic and are open to ideas and change. As powerful agents of behavioural change, they can take lessons they have learned at school back home to teach their parents, siblings and elders about good hygiene behaviours such as handwashing.
Why do we need to promote handwashing?
– 47% people in India DO NOT wash hands with soap after defecation
– 62% people DO NOT wash hands before eating
– 70% people DO NOT wash hands before preparing food
With an objective to educate kids about handwashing, Sesame Street Preschool at Hadapsar, Pimple Saudagar and Wakad, Pune at celebrated the Global Handwashing Day- an annual global advocacy day dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding about the importance of handwashing with soap as an easy, effective, and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives. On the special occasion, the classrooms were decorated with posters educating children about why, when and how to efficiently wash hands. Outdoor games were also organised which helped children understand the significance of handwashing in a fun way. Children also watched special songs and videos about handwashing and carried home hand-outs including tips for handwashing.
How to foster the hand-washing habit in your child
– Use water and soap: A rinse with water isn’t quite enough to rid hands of germs
– Aim for 20 seconds of solid scrubbing
– Make it accessible: Provide a step stool next to the sink, so your child can reach the faucet and doesn’t need to wait for your help to get washing
– Build it into their routine: Before every snack or meal, announce that it’s time to wash hands
Ms Mona Singh, Vice President, Sesame Schoolhouse, shares, “There is a common myth that if your hands LOOK clean, they are very well clean! Many people in India don’t wash their hands only because they believe that hands that look clean cannot make them sick. The handwashing habits in India need to improve, starting with kids who are the most powerful change agents. Sesame Street Preschool lays emphasis on sanitation and hygiene habits, handwashing being one of them. Regular day to day activities performed at our schools, reinforce the noble habit of handwashing. Kids celebrated the Global Handwashing Day with full fervour where they learned about the right ways of washing hands through interesting and fun filled activities.”
Sesame Street Preschool is currently present across 22 cities in India including Ahmedabad, Anantapur, Aurangabad, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Chennai, Dehradun, Gandhidham, Gurugram, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Jammu, Meerut, Mumbai, New Delhi, Noida, Patna, Pune, Secunderabad and Udaipur offering preschool programmes for 1 to 6 year olds including Beginners (Parent- Toddler Programme), Playgroup, Nursery, Prep I and Prep II programmes. Furthermore, the preschools provide a set of after school programmes inculcating critical thinking, communication and collaboration skills. Few centres also provide extended day care facilities which help in the kid’s social and emotional growth in a fun-filled and supervised environment. Sesame Street Preschool has also won many awards and accolades for its unique approach to preschool education like the Most Influential Brand in Education by Asia One, Best Preschool in Delhi/NCR by Worldwide Achievers & Best Franchise of the Year by Franchise India.
The curriculum offered at Sesame Street Preschool goes beyond ABCs and 123s to instil the skills of ideation, confidence, communication and collaboration – skills that are needed not just for school but for life. The preschools are built and designed in such a way that they help in the holistic development of the kid. A well-designed activity room which supports the curriculum and activity-based learning has been set up to encourage kids’ hands-on learning. Children use non–verbal medium to express and share their observations and learnings from the immediate surrounding. The outdoors of Sesame Street Preschool have been designed to enhance kids’ fine motor skills with elements like stepping stone, sand pit, target wall, finger maze, locomotion.
With presence beyond preschools, through Sesame Street, Galli Galli Sim Sim and Chamki Ki Duniya television shows and presence in the digital space through www.galligallisimsim.com, www.sesamestreetindia.org and www.sesamestreet.org, Sesame Street Preschool aims to provide a holistic educational experience to kids. Sesame Street Preschool has recently introduced the ‘Sesame Play App’ which integrates the curriculum on a digital platform to engage kids with lessons around numeracy and literacy on tablets.
Notes to the Editor
About Sesame Street Preschool
Sesame Street Preschool offers quality early childhood education throughout India with its unique preschool and afterschool programmes, where lessons are brought to life by the fun and furry characters of Sesame Street and its Indian adaptation, Galli Galli Sim Sim. The programmes integrate hands-on, project-based learning with creative approaches to foster the critical thinking and problem solving that are fundamental to lifelong learning. With curriculum based on more than four decades of research by Sesame Workshop, one of the largest non-profit informal preschool educators in the world, Sesame Street Preschool promotes across India the Sesame Workshop mission: to help kids grow smarter, stronger and kinder. To learn more, please visit www.sesameschoolhouse.in or follow us on facebook.
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