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Handwashing can Prevent Absenteeism in School

The American Cleaning Institute has been teaching handwashing in schools since 1926, linking student hygiene to their health. In 2003 ACI joined forces with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to award students for creative handwashing programs TheHealthy Schools, Healthy People program continues to reach hundreds of schools each year in an effort to improve hand hygiene habits among students to help prevent the spread of infectious disease and reduce related absenteeism.

Here’s what a group in Susanville, California did to improve handwashing in their community and earn the 2012 Healthy Schools, Healthy People, It’s a SNAP National Award:

Skit (video)

Mykela Nimmo on the left

Members of the drama club at Diamond View created a comedic skit called "Jeremy Germ and the Germinators." This effort was part of an after-school project with the local Public Health Department to spread handwashing messages throughout the school and the community.  In addition to the Jeremy Germ and the Germinators Skit performed for several schools and their district School Board, the team also...

  • Had a coloring contest of picture of kids washing hands
  • Gave out information at the community Halloween Festival
  • Creates a handwashing display at local U.S. Bank
  • Ran a local radio PSA
  • Put up posters and bulletin boards around the School about handwashing
  • Made intercom announcements at school before lunch reminding kids to wash
  • Created  the Jeremy Germ and the Germinators Storybook
Click the image above to see a video of the skit
Click here to read more about their activities

Local Business Support

The students had support from local businesses and organizations to help with the project, including the Lassen Arts Council, U.S. Bank, XX Country Radio, Margies Book Nook, Lassen County and Ron McBride.


Jeremy Germ Storybook A story based on the skit was written by Bethany DuVarney and illustrated by R. W. McBride. You can pledge to be germinators and wash your hands. Click the picture on the left to download your copy or email for a free copy.

Photo Gallery

Bethany  106

Click the picture above to see images from the awards ceremony.

CDC Congratulatory Remarks (video)

2012 SNAP CDC Message

Click the image above to watch the video.

Do you know a school that deserves national recognition for their handwashing program? Or, will your school earn top recognition next year? To get your school involved – go to to learn more and download the Healthy Schools, Healthy People, It’s a SNAP materials today.