News Masthead


December 5, 2007 03:17 PM
Contact: Brian Sansoni, 202-662-2517 or

Florida Students Teach Hand Hygiene, Garner National Award

  • SDA/CDC Hand Hygiene Education Program Honors Students at DeLaura Middle School, Satellite Beach, FL
  • “Healthy Schools, Health People: It’s a SNAP” Seeks Reduced Absenteeism

WASHINGTON, D.C. – December 5, 2007 – At DeLaura Middle School, students in Jeanne Dery’s pre-advanced language arts class wanted to teach their fellow students a lesson. Their lesson – about the importance of handwashing with soap and water – garnered the Satellite Beach, Florida students the 2007 Top Classroom Award from the “Healthy Schools, Healthy People: It’s a SNAP” program.

SNAP – the School Network for Absenteeism Prevention ( – is a collaboration between The Soap and Detergent Association (SDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The six-year old program encourages middle schools to help develop programs that make hand hygiene a priority for students, teachers, school health personnel, administrators and parents.

Ms. Dery’s students created an entertaining and educational video that promoted personal hygiene through handwashing. Their video includes four different scenes: scientific research, a handwashing demonstration, and two segments portraying students as villainous germs being pursued by the “germ police.”

The students also worked with local hotels to obtain sample bars of soap to give away to every student who viewed the video. In return, the students created a flyer promoting SNAP and handwashing to be displayed in hotel restrooms and employee lounges.

“Emphasizing hand hygiene in schools has never been more important, especially with the threat of MRSA and staph infections in schools around the country,” said Nancy Bock, SDA Vice President of Education. “Students recognized by the SNAP program are helping to spread the message that washing with soap and water is the simplest way to prevent the spread of the germs that can make us sick.”

The DeLaura students are being honored for their work at a school assembly and reception December 7. Several SDA member companies contributed products and/or financial assistance for the SNAP National Award Program, including The Dial Corporation, A Henkel Company; GOJO Industries, Inc.; Reckitt Benckiser, Inc.; Technical Concepts, LLC; and Water Journey, Ltd.

Interested educators can learn more and download specific information about SNAP by visiting the SNAP website,, or sending an email to