Student poster contest focuses on hygiene

By Argen Duncan: PNT senior writer

With the flu season closing in, a number of Portales sixth-graders are learning about the importance of hand washing as they convey the information via art.

Carol Ainsworth’s four art classes at Lindsey Middle School are designing posters about hand washing for a Roosevelt General Hospital contest the public will help judge.

RGH Director of Marketing Gay Weese, who is coordinating the project with infection control nurse Tersa Bonifant, said the posters, one from each class, will hang in the hospital hall from Thursday to Oct. 22. Community members can go see the posters and vote for their favorites, and the winning class gets a pizza party from RGH.

This is the second year for a hospital poster contest, which aims to bring awareness to Infection Control Week.

“The No. 1 defense against spreading germs and bacteria is hand hygiene,” Weese said.

One way to promote awareness among students is to have them create an artistic interpretation of the subject, she said.

Sixth-grader Hannah Toombs said she thought the project was “cool” because a lot of the people in her class didn’t wash their hands often. She said she learned that it’s important to wash her hands because if she didn’t she could get very sick.

Ainsworth said the project taught her students to wash their hands for 20 seconds and use a towel to turn off the faucet. They’re now asking to wash their hands or use her hand sanitizer.

“So I think it is making them a little more aware of not spreading germs,” Ainsworth said.

Artistically, she said the posters are giving students the opportunity to learn a few tips for drawing hands.

“Hands are one of the hardest things to draw,” Ainsworth said.

Sixth-grader Korlynn Webb said she learned about positive and negative colors, the colors that make up the pictures and the colors between the pictures, respectively.

“I think it is very fun and very challenging at the same time,” she said of the poster project.

The posters contain both graphics and text about hand washing.

The sixth-graders are using a variety of ideas, from a creating a three-dimensional faucet to employing bubble wrap as a stamp to making pompom germs with wiggly eyes. One poster is in both English and Spanish, Ainsworth said.

“They may have the same facts on it, but they’re all different as far as visual appeal,” she said.

Ainsworth predicted that judges would have a hard time picking a favorite poster.