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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
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