Healthy Schools, Healthy People - It's a SNAP (School Network for Absenteeism Prevention) is a grassroots, education-based effort to improve health by making hand cleaning an integral part of the school day. SNAP is designed to get the entire school community talking about clean hands by providing tools for incorporating hand hygiene into multiple subject areas and activities. Learn how you can implement the program in your school community! Created: 7/11/2007 by National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, National Center for Infectious Diseases, and the Soap and Detergent Association.
Date Released: 7/17/2007. Series Name: CDC Featured Podcasts.
This podcast is presented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC – sager, healthier people.
“How many times do you wash your hands?”
“Every time I go out of the bathroom.”
“Every time I think I've touched something nasty.”
“Once or twice.”
Grossology 101, Don't Bug Me, and the Water and Soap Help – better known as W.A.S.H.– aren't your typical course titles in middle school, but they represent real-life, successful campaigns to educate the school community about the importance of good hand hygiene. The goal of these programs is healthier schools and healthier people, and the materials are created by middle school students – “Follow me and I'll show you how you can wash your hands the proper way.” - with some help from their teachers, principals and school health professionals.
This hand hygiene movement is a result of The Healthy Schools, Healthy People, It's a SNAP program – a national award-winning initiative of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and The Soap and Detergent Association to reduce infectious disease and illness-related absenteeism in middle schools. SNAP stands for the school network for absenteeism prevention.
Thousands of educators across the country have used the materials to empower students to create customized campaigns showing the link between hand washing and good health. Students who participate show passion about what they've learned – and what they're teaching others. And while the campaigns are created by students, the health benefits are felt far beyond school boundaries.
“We went to multiple schools in our community and created a poster board. And we made sure that everybody in our community could understand how important hand washing was.” - Anonymous Student
“This was just a great opportunity for me to watch kids just take over and be able to do amazing things.” -Anonymous Teacher
Each year, top schools are awarded national recognition from CDC and SDA, for the school, the teacher, and the students. Top recipients are flown, all expenses paid by SDA, to Washington, D.C., where a special ceremony is given in their honor, cash prizes are awarded and, on a special Capitol Hill visit, they meet with their local Congressmen and women.
The Director of the CDC praises SNAP as an effective way to teach an important lesson on public health. “SNAP is a wonderful example of how we can work together to protect our children's health. The Soap and Detergent Association is a great partner, and we look forward to the next steps.”
“When we can get this message out to parents, to teachers, and to the students themselves to wash their hands frequently, we'll have reduced absenteeism. We'll have greater productivity from our children, and they'll really be able to appreciate their full potential.” Vice Admiral Richard H. Carmona, MD
It's easy – and important - to get started in SNAP, because nearly 22 million school days are lost each year due to the common cold and diseases that are spread by bacteria that live on desks, doorknobs, tables and more. And, according to the CDC, the single most important thing we can do to keep from getting sick and spreading illness to others is to clean our hands.
Getting involved in SNAP is free and the educational resources – toolkits, posters, activities, bookmarks and more - make getting started easy. Simply download a FREE toolkit at www.itsasnap.org or email your request for free materials to SNAP@cleaning101.com.
The deadline to apply for national recognition is March 1, so get your materials today. And remember, when it comes to building healthy hygiene habits that last a lifetime, the entire school community can play a role, and when kids teach kids – It's a SNAP!
“Hand washing is awesome!”
“Hand washing is great!” “Woo Hoo!”
Closing Slates: (no verbal announcements)
Healthy Schools, Healthy People, www.itsasnap.org
SNAP top recipients receive: all expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C.; visit to Capitol Hill; free materials for your school; National recognition, special awards ceremony.
The information contained in this piece was compiled by The Soap and Detergent Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Health and Human Services.
This information is not copyrighted and is intended for educational purposes only.
To access the most accurate and relevant health information that affects you, your family and your community, please visit www.cdc.gov.