This National Education Week, I would like to express my thanks to all those who contribute to educating American students. My hat is off to teachers and school administrative staff and to the community of school employees known as “Educational Support Professionals” (ESPs) who keep our schools maintained and running on a daily basis.
Case in point: As a grandmother of three precious boys, two of whom attend pre-school, I am keenly aware of how colds and other viruses can spread like wildfire among the under-five-year-old set. Frequently, the “germ du jour” comes home for the whole family to share. It’s just a fact of life for young families. What gives me great comfort, however, is knowing that the custodians and other ESPs in my grandsons’ school are working hard to keep their learning environment as safe as possible. From maintaining the playgrounds, to cleaning and sanitizing kitchens, bathrooms and frequently touched surfaces, we owe a great vote of thanks to ESPs.
One of the most effective ways that surfaces frequently touched by children are sanitized is with dilute solutions of chlorine bleach. If using “children” and “bleach” in the same sentence makes you wary, that’s understandable. And that is why the American Chemistry Council’s Chlorine Chemistry Division collaborated with the National Education Association and a substantial team of advisors to develop a video on the safe use and storage of bleach in the school environment. Available at www.schoolbleachsafety.com and via Facebook, the video instructs ESPs on the safe and proper handling and storage of chlorine bleach. The video has been viewed some 15,000 times, and we’re so proud that our chemistry is making a difference in schools where bleach sanitization is being carried out responsibly. I know we can’t dispense completely with sampling the “germ du jour,” but I’m grateful to the ESPs who work every day to help keep all our children safer and healthier.
To learn more about the surprising benefits of chlorine beyond bleach, visit www.elementofsurprise.org.