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June 16, 2003 03:42 PM

SDA and CDC Honor Nebraska Middle School Students with
National Award for Hand Hygiene Program

  • Program to Reduce School Absenteeism Recognizes Students' Innovative Project

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 16, 2003 - Students from Goodrich Middle School in Lincoln, Nebraska, today received the Top Classroom Award from The Soap and Detergent Association (SDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Health and Human Services, for their outstanding campaign in the "Healthy Schools, Healthy People - It's a SNAP" National Recognition Program.

The School Network for Absenteeism Prevention (SNAP) is a joint project of the SDA and CDC to challenge middle schools to help develop programs that make hand hygiene a priority for students, teachers, school health personnel, administrators, and parents.

"Healthy Schools, Healthy People - It's a SNAP is a public, private partnership that is a win-win for children's health," said Julie Louise Gerberding, M.D., MPH, Director, CDC.

CDC believes that handwashing is the single most important thing people can do to keep from getting sick and spreading illness. The SNAP initiative brings this message into schools, where nearly 22 million school days are lost due to the common cold and where certain strains of E. coli, salmonella and other bacteria can live on surfaces like cafeteria tables and doorknobs for up to two hours. While basic hygiene is generally learned during early childhood, research points to the benefits of repeating hygiene lessons during the K-12 curricula.

"SNAP's emphasis on teaching simple, effective hygiene practices is doing a world of good for our families, our schools, and our communities," added Ernie Rosenberg, SDA President and CEO.
The award was presented to Goodrich seventh grade science students, who created a comprehensive handwashing campaign including a DVD movie on proper handwashing techniques, a computer slide presentation, T-shirts, bookmarks, and multilingual posters on good hand hygiene. The Goodrich campaign will be promoted schoolwide, complemented by school nurse demonstrations and awards for students with low absenteeism.

"The students' program will promote hand hygiene for students, teachers, staff, and the entire school community," said Jennifer Kiser, the students' science teacher.

As the Top Classroom Award recipient, three Goodrich students from the science class, Kristen Benson, Kamille McKinney, and Irina Sulejmanovic, received an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., while the entire class was honored during a celebration at the school. The award reception, which was held on a terrace overlooking the White House, featured acknowledgments by Vera Neslund, Acting Chief of Staff, CDC Office of the Director, Nancy Bock, SDA Vice President of Education, and Principal Elizabeth Scott and science teacher Jennifer Kiser of Goodrich Middle School.

For more information about the SNAP program or to learn about participation, log on to


  • Fact Sheet: "Healthy Schools, Healthy People - It's a SNAP"
  • Quotes about "Healthy Schools, Healthy People - It's a SNAP"

About SDA

The Soap and Detergent Association ( is the non-profit trade association representing manufacturers of household, industrial, and institutional cleaning products; their ingredients; and finished packaging. SDA members produce more than 90% of the cleaning products marketed in the U.S. The SDA is located at 1500 K Street, NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20005.

About CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Health and Human Services, is recognized as the lead federal agency for protecting the health and safety of people at home and abroad, providing credible information to enhance health decisions, and promoting health through strong partnerships. CDC serves as the national focus for developing and applying disease prevention and control, environmental health, and health promotion and education activities designed to improve the health of the people of the United States. The CDC is headquartered in Atlanta, GA.

About the SNAP program

The "Healthy Schools, Healthy People - It's a SNAP" program is a joint initiative of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Health and Human Services, and The Soap and Detergent Association. The School Network for Absenteeism Prevention (SNAP) program seeks to improve hand hygiene habits among middle school personnel and students to help prevent the spread of infectious diseases and reduce related absenteeism. SNAP is a grassroots, education-based effort to improve health by making hand cleaning an integral part of the school day.