The Soap and Detergent Association has teamed up with the National Education Association (NEA) Health Information Network and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to create the National C.L.E.A.N. Award. SDA announced its participation in the award program at the ISSA/INTERCLEAN North America show in Las Vegas.

C.L.E.A.N. - Custodial Leaders for Environmental Advocacy Nationwide - will recognize the contributions that custodians make to public health in their schools, communities, and their profession.

“Every day, custodians play a crucial role in public health in more than 90,000 schools in the United States,” said Nancy Bock, SDA Vice President of Education. “This award will pay tribute to their diligence to school cleanliness.”

Custodians from around the country say they are appreciative of a new effort to highlight the work that they do, week in and week out.

“The C.L.E.A.N. Award will create a nationwide awareness of what each of us can do to assist custodians in maintaining clean, safe, and healthy schools,” said Patrick Nicholson, a custodian at Brownsville Elementary School in Bremerton, Washington.

“I hope that the C.L.E.A.N. Award promotes school cleanliness nationwide,” said Marvin Stewart, Head Custodian at Patuxent Elementary School (Pre-k thru 2nd grade) in Calvert County, Maryland, who added that the award would recognize “the hard work custodians do on a daily basis.”

Applicants for the C.L.E.A.N. Award will provide information on their worksite, cleaning responsibilities, how they have demonstrated leadership for school cleanliness achievements, evidence of collaboration and how their work has enhanced the image of the custodian. Applications will be evaluated on originality, creativity, ability to sustain results, evidence of teamwork, and program impact.  

Custodians employed in a K-12 school(s) located within the U.S. are eligible.

Up to five awards will be presented annually: one top recipient and four runners-up. Among the prizes the top recipients will receive: an all expense paid trip to the NEA National ESP (Education Support Professionals) Conference to receive the award, including travel, lodging, meals, and a cash award; and cleaning supplies for their school.