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CleaningMatters logo sm September/October 2010


SNAPshots of the SNAP Award Recipients

Clean Hands Program Earn Honors for Students

"Operation Germ Destruction" earned two ninth-grade students the top award in the 2010 Healthy Schools, Healthy People, It's a SNAP (School Network for Absenteeism Prevention) National Awards Program, cosponsored by the American Cleaning Institute® (ACI?) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Health and Human Services.

SNAPshot1McKenzie Sargent and Shannon Seleg, students at the Forsyth High School, Forsyth, Montana, spearheaded a program that allowed them to team up with County Health Professionals, PTSA, the Independent Press newspaper and parents, students and members of the local community to create awareness about proper handwashing. They developed the program for their Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) project. Their strategies included presentations to elementary students, teachers, junior high students and members of their FCCLA chapter. Their County Health Department grant funds were used to purchase related videos, shirts, stickers and coloring books. The girls wrote detailed lesson plans and created hands-on activities to help reinforce the concept of proper handwashing. When they reviewed attendance statistics in the few months after their workshops, the girls found that school absences due to illness dropped by 1%.

For their efforts, the two students and a teacher received an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., where they were honored at an awards reception. While in Washington, they met their state representatives, U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) and U.S. Rep. Dennis Rehberg (D-MT), and toured the U.S. Capitol, some of the museums and monuments. The 2010 Healthy Schools, Healthy People, It's a SNAP program sponsors (Arylessence, Inc.; The Clorox Company; GOJO Industries, Inc.; Henkel Consumer Goods Inc.; Rubbermaid Commercial Products; and Water Journey, makers of Hands2GO) also gave their school a $5,000 cash award and an array of hand-hygiene products. 

There were also two 2010 Runners-up who each received a $250 cash award for their school. ASNAPshot2lgood Elementary School in Algood, Tennessee, earned honors for a partnership between the school nurse and the health educator for Putnam County. Together, they created a project focusing on handwashing and staying healthy during cold and flu season. In four days, they taught 602 students how germs could hide and how important it is to properly wash one's hands.

The Walter C. Young Middle School in Pembroke Pines, Florida, created a science experiment to show that proper hygiene, especially hand hygiene, results in fewer illnesses in the school and community. Dubbing themselves The Science Dudes, students created survey questions and collected and analyzed data. The team started a Clean Hand campaign to bring awareness to the school community and presented their findings on the school TV station.

To find out how to participate in the It's a SNAP program, and to obtain information on earning national recognition in 2011, visit The deadline for award submission is March 1, 2011.

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