The Healthy Schools, Healthy People National Awards Program is a joint initiative of the American Cleaning Institute and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This program seeks 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.
Each year one school receives the national award. This award includes an all-expense paid trip for three to Washington D.C. or Atlanta, Georgia to be honored at a special reception. In addition, a special celebration is planned for the classroom. Two runner-up recipients are also selected to receive a cash award. All participating classrooms receive a certificate of recognition.
Previous National Award Recipients Include:
2018: Kittitas, Washington
Congratulations go to Kittitas Secondary School’s FCCLA Chapter from Kittitas, Washington. Grace Allphin and Natalia Benavides created a hand hygiene program "Paws for the Handwashing Cause" to teach students the correct way to wash hands within their school community. To learn more about their award winning project.
2017: Litchfield, MN
Congratulations go to Litchfield HS FCCLA from Litchfield, Minnesota for earning the 2017 Healthy Schools, Healthy People National Award for their "Healthy Holidays" campaign. During the month of October, in anticipation of Halloween, the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) members Carli Christensen, Hannah Schacherer and Meghan Stordahl created a "Germ City" to teach correct handwashing procedures using "SSSRD" as their mnemonic ("Soap, Scrub, Sing, Rinse, and Dry").
In November, with the holidays in mind, the team conducted a bread experiment. The team also created videos for Christmas and Valentine’s Day that were shown throughout the schools in Litchfield, Minnesota, further promoting their project’s hand hygiene messages.
To further drive their messages, the team created posters around upcoming holidays that were placed in the school’s restrooms that provided statistics about the importance of proper handwashing. They also incorporated social media to promote their messages about healthy handwashing habits.
Runner-Up Award Recipients
The Brickell Academy at Old Donation School from Virginia Beach, Virginia earned a runner-up award with their "Expert Germ Stopper Ambassadors" program. A local doctor teamed up with her daughter’s third grade class to train these hand hygiene ambassadors about the importance of proper handwashing. They then presented their program to the other third grade classes in their school, reaching one hundred students with their hand hygiene message.
Medford, OK FCCLA from Medford, Oklahoma also earned a runner-up award. "ABC, I’m Germ Free" that included story time, handwashing demonstrations, a practice handwashing demonstration for a local Head Start and activities for Junior High and High School students.
View the 2017 Healthy Schools, Healthy People, It's a SNAP National Awards Ceremony recorded May 17, 2017.
2016: Long Beach, CA
"Los Guerreros del Jabón" or "Soapy Warriors"
Congratulations go to McBride High School from Long Beach, California who earned the national award for their bilingual handwashing campaign called "Los Guerreros del Jabón" or "Soapy Warriors."
This team wrote a bilingual song emphasizing the basic steps and timing to teach the right way to wash their hands. Students prepared classroom presentations. They also created bilingual posters for each classroom; the posters included the application of hand sanitizer as well.
The Soapy Warriors provided calendars for each student to take home, with stickers to track the times they wash their hands. These calendars had pictures of the most important times people should wash their hands, and were to be collected at the end of the month to follow up on the tracking of the students’ handwashing habits.
McBride High School presents Soapy Warriors to ACI's Board of Directors
"Soapy Warriors" Project
2015: Fulda, MN
Clean Up Germ City!
Tyler, Senator Franken and Eli
ACI would like to offer a heartfelt congratulations to the 15 students from Fulda High School of Fulda, Minnesota that earned the 2015 Healthy Schools, Healthy People, It’s a SNAP National Award for their "Clean Up Germ City" Campaign.
These fifteen 9th and 10th grade students of the Family and Consumer Science Class were not only studying about child development but also wanted to participate in a service learning project that could potentially benefit others in their community as the cold and flu season neared. Undaunted by the scope of their undertaking, these students created a lesson plan for each grade from elementary to high school that would be both age appropriate and teach the students about proper handwashing hygiene techniques.
In accomplishing this goal, the award recipients enlisted the support of the local newspaper and TV stations, the school website and social media. Again, congratulations Fulda High School for a job very well done!
2014: Douglasville, GA
2 Thumbs Up for Healthy Hands
P.E. Teacher Nick Epstein addresses students at an assembly. Click the image above to see more highlights from the 2 Thumbs Up for Healthy Hands campaign!
Dorsett Shoals Elementary School held a program called 2 Thumbs Up For Healthy Hands aimed at reducing absences during cold and flu season.
Shannon Hendrix, a registered nurse who serves as the health services coordinator for Dorsett Shoals and other local schools, said all 423 students at Dorsett Shoals were exposed to the program that was aimed at making hand washing fun and educational.
Nick Epstein, the physical education teacher at Dorsett Shoals, said most people think of washing their hands as something basic, especially before meals. But he said what teachers are noticing is that many kids don’t take the time to perform that simple, preventative measure.
2013: Litchfield, MN
Family, Career and Community Leaders of America members Ali McGraw, Kalley Spreiter and Abby Roediger — all sophomores at Litchfield High School (Litchfield, MN) — recently earned the top national award from the American Cleaning Institute and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for their movie, "Handwashing Horrors." The students created the movie to emphasize the importance of handwashing in order to make the school a safer environment.
Revenge of the Germ: Watch this handwashing horrors video.
2012: Susanville, CA
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 the message of the importance of proper hand washing throughout the school and the community.
2003-2011 Award Winners
- 2011: Fulda High School FCCLA (Fulda, MN)
- 2010: Forsyth High School FCCLA (Forsyth, MT)
- 2009: All Saints Regional Catholic School (Manahawkin, NJ)
- 2008: Sampson G. Smith School (Somerset, NJ)
- 2007: DeLaura Middle School (Satellite Beach, FL)
- 2006: Altoona Middle School (Altoona, WI)
- 2005: Ralston Middle School (Belmont, CA)
- 2004: Crownover Middle School (Corinth, TX)
- 2003: Goodrich Middle School (Lincoln, NE)
Learn more about these award recipients.