Wash Your Hands Challenge kicks off the Air Five

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What’s an “Air Five”? Think of it as a high five that you can do across the room or via Snapchat or Zoom. It’s a way of connecting without actually touching in this new age of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Local musician Dona Frank wrote a fun, catchy tune to remind kids (and adults) to wash their hands and keep a safe social distance with an “Air Five.”

When asked why she created the song, Dona said, “I woke up last week and thought about all the boring ways we can remind our kids and ourselves to wash our hands in hot water for 20 seconds, minimum, especially during these trying times of COVID-19.” 

Dona pulled in a longtime friend, Terry Hall, otherwise known as Terry A la Berry, the backbeat (drummer) of The Arlo Guthrie Band for over 40 years and children’s performer and songwriter for 30 years. He willingly collaborated on the piece. Since Terry wasn’t on tour she knew she could talk Terry into helping, however, there was one big issue. “The problem was that Terry lives in Lenox (MA) and I live in Saratoga Springs (NY) and we are practicing social distancing.”

Dona wrote a catchy tune, and sent the lyrics with it to Terry for some long -distance editing. He has created multiple kids albums as a Parent’s Choice performer, and has a small studio in his home. The duo then asked several kids they knew to send short video clips and still photos to contribute to the video. It has been a challenge of its own to try and do this while complying with social distancing rules, but it does help give meaning to the “new normal.”

Dona was also quick to thank “Health Reporter and News Anchor at WNYT, TV-13, Benita Zahn, who appears in our video and works hard every day to send messages of hope and truth around the COVID-19 Pandemic.”

“We are all in this together and if something as simple as washing our hands can help save lives, well then LET’S DO IT”, said Benita when asked why she contributed to the song and challenge.

The song also promotes healthy distancing by offering up an #Airfive hashtag challenge. After you have played or sung the tune, giving a big Air Five via video or a photo, keeping your distance, and showing you did your part to make sure your hands are clean. “We hope to encourage students and kids at home, grandparents, parents, and friends to show us your #Airfive” says Dona Federico, creator of the project.

With lyrics like, “front and back, and in between, and all the places germs aren’t seen,” the catchy tune will stick with even the youngest of children.

And when you are done, don’t forget “use hot water and you will thrive, and pretty soon you’ll say AIR FIVE!”

“Keeping positive and being creative in this time of what could be very fearful for many is our way to keep hope alive,” added Dona.

“Not spreading germs is essential during this pandemic but really, all the time,” Terry said. “Hopefully our song will be one that sticks around for generations and helps many kids and adults to take handwashing seriously. It saves lives.”

Try it yourself and share it on social media. Remember to do hashtag #airfive and challenge your friends and family from a safe distance to do the same.


Dona Frank-Federico is an award-winning real estate salesperson with Select Sotheby’s International Realty in Saratoga Springs NY. She is a performer, and singer/songwriter, and has been in executive management in the Capital Region for years prior to taking up real estate. She is an accomplished wildlife photographer and has been seen as an interviewer in the past with WTEN, WNYT and Look TV. She is a wife, mother, grandmother and caretaker. 

More about Terry A la Berry: http://www.terryalaberry.com/

Dona and Terry can be reached for comment at: donafed@gmail.com or 518.421.6753

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