Millions of Americans go to school or college every day. Unfortunately, their germs go right along with them to an environment where physical closeness and group activities can further accelerate their spread. Colds, flu and stomach illness are a major problem for educational facilities, with the common cold resulting in 189 million school days lost each year–and influenza causing nearly 38 million absences a year.
To help schools reduce absenteeism and transform into optimally healthy learning environments, Kimberly-Clark Professional has launched The Healthy Schools Project, a new program that delivers effective solutions designed to break the cycle of illness in schools, encouraging students, teachers and staff to practice good hand hygiene.
"The Healthy Schools Project goes beyond the restroom to provide sustainable, hygienic product solutions for classrooms, cafeterias and common areas–all the places students take germs," says Richard Marriott, customer marketing manager for Kimberly-Clark Professional. "The result could lead to reduced absenteeism and a healthier environment for students and staff."
Schools have their own unique "hot spots" that typically harbor the most germs. When ill students touch a doorknob, keyboard, desk or other surface, they leave germs that can live up to 48 hours. The Healthy Schools Project educates students on a simple protocol of "wash, wipe and sanitize," reinforced with lesson plans, on-site materials and products, to help engage students in making their school a healthier place.
The Healthy Schools Project offers a simple to implement curriculum with unique materials and product solutions designed for each education level, including Super Germ Fighters, an interactive program for K-5. Super Germ Fighters empowers children to fight germs in their classroom by delivering a hands-on experience that uses kid-friendly products such as non-alcohol sanitizers and no-kill wipes, and posters and stickers to reinforce the importance of good hand hygiene habits.
"The health and wellness of our students and staff has always been the number one priority at Round Rock," says Ruben Dominguez, custodial manager of Round Rock ISD in Round Rock, Texas. "The Healthy Schools Project is an innovative resource that provides us with a comprehensive and cost-effective way to help promote a healthy environment where our students can flourish."
The Healthy Schools Project starts with the premise that good hygiene habits should begin early by addressing students at every level – starting in kindergarten and continuing through college. Offerings include:
- Germ "hot spot" identification and audits to customize an action plan for each school.
- In-classroom solutions for K-5 with lesson plans that make learning about good hygiene fun for students and easy for teachers.
- Washroom and common area solutions including towels, tissues, soap, sanitizers and surface wipes.
- Posters, stickers and other materials that help educate students on ways they can make their school healthier.
- Student Care Packs for special events including a Kleenex Alcohol Free Foam Hand Sanitizer, a Kleenex Facial Tissues Pocket Pack and a pamphlet outlining the three step "wash, wipe and sanitize" protocol.
- Convenient caddies featuring hand sanitizer, tissue and wipes for offices and lounges that put germ-fighting products in reach.
The Healthy Schools Project offers cost-effective product solutions for the classroom, common areas and restrooms. The program's sustainable product offerings include Kleenex brand and Scott brand tissue, towels and skin care products and the MOD Dispenser System, a customizable dispensing system that combines touchless technology with the bacteria-reducing benefits of drying with a paper towel.