They’re probably the most annoying insects aside from crickets and mosquitoes. Much like mosquitoes, lice feed off human blood and cause a lot of irritation.

The Central Arizona Valley Institute of Technology cosmetology program visited Arizona City Elementary School last week to talk to students about how lice can spread and how to prevent getting the pesky critters.

“Every school has to do everything they can to prevent lice in their schools and it’s always a struggle at every school no matter what,” Arizona City Elementary Vice Principal Tracy McCain said. “So the opportunity to have somebody come in and teach the kids what they can do to prevent lice was kind of a no-brainer.”

The CAVIT group made presentations for the kindergarten through eighth grade classes that involved playing games and tested the elementary school kids on their knowledge about lice.

“The kindergartners are very interactive (and) for the most part they’re not shy about wanting to talk to you,” CAVIT student Cienna Washington said.

Some of the questions the group asked the elementary school kids included:

  • Should you tell someone if you have lice?
  • Should you make fun of a classmate if they have lice?
  • Can lice be treated?

The responses to those questions were different between the various grades.

“It’s been interesting to see how well the kids learn at different ages,” Kylie Myburgh said. “You get to see how well they can take information in. The kindergartners, they were kind of all over the place.”

Myburgh’s presentation partner, Angelique Coronado, added that the third graders used bigger words like parasite when talking about lice and that it took a little adjusting when giving the presentation.

The CAVIT group agreed that interacting with the kids was fun.

Arizona City Elementary School’s McCain added that it’s important for kids to know about lice at a young age because if they do have lice, then they miss a couple days of school.

“When they miss school, they miss opportunities to learn,” McCain said. “Every school day matters, so they don’t want to miss a day of school that they wouldn’t have to miss. Every kid is going to miss days for being sick or other things that can’t be predicted, but lice can be prevented. If we do everything we can to prevent it, then that’s the less days they’ll miss of school.”

The cosmetology group decided on Arizona City Elementary in an effort to branch out beyond Coolidge, where the campus for the regional school is located.

The project was completely student led from having the groups reach out to the school and working on their presentations.

Cosmetology instructor Jessica Brooks said this is a way for her group to get comfortable with being outside of the classroom before actually going out into the field.

McCain added that when the school received the call from CAVIT about coming out and doing the presentation, it looked like a win-win for both sets of students. The elementary school kids would learn about lice and the CAVIT high school students would get to practice their skills.

“Sometimes when special groups come in, it means a little bit more because it is a special group,” McCain said. “When it’s the teacher, not that they don’t listen to the teacher, but the teacher is teaching them reading, math, writing, science and everything, so when somebody different comes in and talks about a subject matter, it kind of gets their attention a little bit more.”