Wiping Out the Flu at DeWitt.

DeWitt Elementary PTA volunteers take on the flu and winter germs, hoping to make their building a healthier place to learn.

A team of PTA volunteers descended upon DeWitt Elementary school this Sunday, hoping to get a leg up on the flu. Nicknamed "Operation Decontamination," the group spent two hours using disinfectant wipes to clean desks, chairs, doorknobs, phones, and other hard surfaces students and staff are likely to touch.

The idea for a clean sweep was born when parents saw more and more kids and teachers falling ill with the flu and other sicknesses. "After volunteering at the school and seeing how many kids were out sick almost every day it just made sense to try to take further steps to clean the school," said parent Brandy Marks.

Principal Jen Hartman agreed. "When I was approached with this idea, I knew it would be another example of the wonderful PTA working together to benefit the DeWitt family.  This dedicated effort will benefit all DeWitt students, staff and families." Hartman asked the Cuyahoga Falls School District for special permission to have the volunteers do the supplemental cleaning. "District personnel were appreciative of this additional effort to help keep the building sanitized during this cold and flu season. In a building our size the custodians are diligent in keeping the facility clean. However, this is just an additional way to help keep everyone healthy."

Mary Drabinski has two children who attend DeWitt and said she hoped the extra cleaning will "decrease the amount of kids and teachers getting sick and missing school."

Fourth grade parent Nichole Hall was happy to spend her Sunday afternoon in the building. "Kids learn better when they are healthy," Hall said. "The place they spend the majority of their time in should be clean."

In a building with nearly 500 students, teachers and staff, the effort to wipe out germs is appreciated.  The parent volunteers plan to give the school another wipedown at the end of February. Said Dan Marks, "Even if it only helps a few kids, it was still worth it!"

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