CDC, SDA Honor Texas Students With National Award for Hand-Hygiene Program

WASHINGTON -- Students from Crownover Middle School

in Corinth, Texas are the recipients of the Top Classroom Award from 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 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Health and

Human Services, and The Soap and Detergent Association (SDA). SNAP challenges

middle schools to develop programs that make hand hygiene a priority for

students, teachers, school health personnel, administrators, and parents.

The students of Crownover are being honored for their multidisciplinary

approach to bringing hand hygiene into the curriculum. Several different

departments joined together to implement the program. Science and math

students took cultures and recorded data. Arts and skills-for-living students

made posters in English and Spanish. Theater, technology, and language arts

students collaborated on a hand hygiene video to premiere at a PTA meeting.

As the Top Classroom Award recipient, Crownover Middle School will receive

an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C. for three students and a

celebration for the classes that produced the project. The students and their

chaperones were honored at a June 8, 2004 reception at the Hotel Washington, Sky

Terrace North, in Washington, D.C.

Two other schools were honored in the 2004 SNAP National Recognition

Program. Second place was awarded to the American History class at DeLaura

Middle School in Satellite Beach, Florida for a project involving a hand

hygiene survey, video and educational pamphlets. The Future Nurses Club of

Maplewood Local Schools in Cortland, Ohio was awarded third place for

developing activities to improve hand hygiene among area elementary students

and the multiple handicapped classroom unit. The runner-up winners will each

receive a cash award of $250.

The inaugural Top Classroom Award went to students at the Goodrich Middle

School in Lincoln, Neb. in 2003. Students 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 was then promoted school-wide and

complemented by school nurse demonstrations and awards for students with low

absenteeism.

The 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.

"Healthy Schools, Healthy People - It's a SNAP! is a public, private

partnership that is a win-win for children's health," said CDC Director Dr.

Julie Gerberding, MD, MPH.

"It is increasingly vital that children fully understand and practice good

hygiene behaviors. Teaching children these important life skills can make a

world of difference to their improved health," said Nancy Bock, SDA's vice

president of education.

CDC states 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.

For more information about the SNAP program or to learn about

participation, log on to http://www.itsasnap.org.

Source: The Soap and Detergent Association

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