The SNAP (School Network for Absenteeism Prevention) program is a joint initiative of the American Cleaning Institute (ACI) and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) designed to promote handwashing among students.
Carli Christensen, Hannah Schacherer and Meghan Stordahl, classmates from the Litchfield High School (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America) (FCCLA) Chapter, developed a “Healthy Holidays” campaign to educate students from around the school system on the proper way to clean their hands with soap and water. Their “Soap, Scrub, Sing, Rinse, and Dry” regimen helped students remember proper hand hygiene habits are crucial to staying healthy.
The project included using a “Germ City” backdrop—complete with a blacklight—to help illuminate germs that remained on their fellow students after not properly cleaning their hands. The project also featured experiments, posters, videos and social media outreach with holiday-themed messages—specifically connected to Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Valentine’s Day—to emphasize the importance of handwashing with soap and water. The students reached more than 10,000 people through their social media messages.
“The Healthy Schools, Healthy People award recognizes thoughtful and creative in-school programs that promote good hand hygiene,” said Nancy Bock, ACI senior vice president, education. “The Litchfield High School students demonstrated that educating the community at-large can really have an impact and create meaningful lessons that can last a lifetime.”
“Proper handwashing is one of the single most important steps one can take to prevent getting sick from germs,” said Vincent Hill, chief of CDC’s Waterborne Disease Prevention Branch. “The ‘Healthy Holidays’ team did a great job creating engaging and creative health promotion materials for their community that follow CDC’s handwashing recommendations.”