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May 24, 2016 11:23 AM

California "Soapy Warriors" Receive "Healthy Schools,
Healthy People" Handwashing Award

  • Long Beach High School Students Honored by American Cleaning Institute, CDC
  • Aguanga, CA and Litchfield, MN Students Also Recognized
2016 SNAP McBride
McBride High School's "Soapy Warriors"
(Long Beach, CA)

Washington, DC, May 24, 2016 – A group of health conscious and motivated students from Long Beach, California – who launched a bilingual campaign to promote good hygiene in their school community – will receive the 2016 "Healthy Schools, Healthy People, It’s a SNAP" National Award.

The Healthy Schools, Healthy People, It’s a SNAP! (School Network for Absenteeism Prevention) program is a joint initiative of the American Cleaning Institute (ACI) and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) to promote handwashing among students.

The Spanish Class of thirty-six students, from Long Beach’s Ernest McBride High School, created a bilingual handwashing education campaign called "Soapy Warriors"/ "Los Guerreros del Jabón," which included an original handwashing song, classroom presentations, campaign posters, and colorful take-home calendars to track and reinforce at-home handwashing routines.

The Soapy Warriors also provided calendars for each student to take home, with stickers to track the times they wash their hands, and shared messaging with family members. These calendars had pictures of important times people should wash their hands, and were collected at the end of the month to reinforce students’ handwashing habits.

At McBride High School, the students are genuinely involved in making a difference in the community, according to Nancy Bock, ACI Senior Vice President, Education.

"These students brought together the power of language, music, health, and community engagement to promote hand hygiene," said Bock. "We’re proud to recognize and reward school-based programs that help make handwashing a priority and can to help reduce school absenteeism."

Three student representatives and their teacher will visit ACI headquarters as a part of an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C., where they will receive their national award.

Aguanga, California, Litchfield, Minnesota Schools Also Honored for Hygiene Programs

Schools from Aguanga, California and Litchfield, Minnesota were honored by Healthy Schools, Healthy People as Runners-Up for their hand hygiene education programs:

Cottonwood School from Aguanga, California earned a runner-up award with their "Mr. Bubble" campaign. Mr. Bubble is a water drop that served as a reminder all around the school and community to wash those hands. Mr. Bubble stickers were placed on tissue boxes and near restroom sinks. To support the message, the leadership class created a tri-fold poster board, with an inter-active display to present Mr. Bubble to the school community, so that they recognize Mr. Bubble when they see him around campus. They included information, based on CDC handwashing messages, about when to wash your hands, and how to "do it right.

Litchfield (Minnesota) Middle School’s also earned a runner-up award. The eighth grade Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) class taught students throughout their school district and community to clean their hands to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Members of the Grade Eight Exploratory FACS class visited preschool, kindergarten and elementary classrooms and taught lessons with activities. Their main focus was on when you should wash hands and the right way to wash them. Students designed the lessons to reach many people by presenting materials in more than one language. They also created a video for the middle and high school students on the proper use of hand sanitizer.

For 14 years, the Healthy Schools, Healthy People program has sought to improve hand hygiene habits to help prevent the spread of infectious disease and reduce related absenteeism. This grassroots, education-based effort can help improve health by making hand cleaning an integral part of the school day.

Learn More...

Read more about the McBride High School Project here.

For information on how your school can participate in the program, visit www.itsasnap.org.

Watch the recorded presentation from the recipients of the 2016 "Healthy Schools, Healthy People" National Award in front of the ACI Board of Directors.