Minnesota Students Visit DC to Scare Away “Handwashing Horrors”
Three Litchfield, Minnesota High School students are showing the nation’s capital how to scare away “handwashing horrors” – just in time for Halloween.
Students Ali McGraw, Kalley Spreiter and Abby Roediger created a multi-media hygiene education campaign that earned them the Healthy Schools, Healthy People: It’s a SNAP national program award. SNAP – the School Network for Absenteeism Prevention – is a joint initiative of the American Cleaning Institute (ACI) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The students are members of the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) Chapter at Litchfield High School. The students earned an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C., where they visited the Capitol Hill offices of Minnesota elected officials, including Sens. Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar and Rep. Collin Peterson.
They also showcased their hand hygiene education project during a visit to the offices of the American Cleaning Institute. The theme of the girls’ multi-media education project was “Germs don't scare us - we wash them away!”
As a part of their hand hygiene campaign, Abby, Ali and Kalley:
• Collaborated with the Meeker County Public Health and the Minnesota State Public Health Department to bring educational information on germs to their school.
• Created hand hygiene education projects for 3rd and 5th graders, including surveys, science experiments and showing germ transfer with a black light.
• Sponsored a handwashing video competition in the high school, which landed the chapter the top award, “Handwashing Horrors: Revenge of the Germ.”
• Used social media to send weekly messages about handwashing statistics and procedures.
The students earned their FCCLA chapter $5,000 from several supporting ACI member companies: Arylessence, Inc., Colgate-Palmolive Company, Ecolab, Inc., GOJO Industries, Inc. and Henkel Consumer Goods Inc. Colgate-Palmolive Company, Ecolab Inc., GOJO Industries, Inc., Henkel Consumer Goods Inc. and Water Journey Ltd. are also sent hand cleaning products to the Litchfield community to continue the promotion of clean hands at school.
“These students were challenged, motivated and inspired to educate others about the importance of washing with soap and water,” said Nancy Bock, ACI’s Senior Vice President of Education. “The students played a huge role in improving the health of their school and the community with their award winning program.”
The “Healthy Schools, Healthy People” program seeks to improve hand hygiene habits to help prevent the spread of infectious disease and reduce related absenteeism. This grassroots, education-based effort can help improve health by making hand cleaning an integral part of the school day.
For information on how your school can participate in the program, visit www.itsasnap.org.
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