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Wash Your Hands:
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What is Healthy Schools, Healthy People, It’s a SNAP!?

The Healthy Schools, Healthy People, It’s a SNAP! (School Network for Absenteeism Prevention) program is a joint initiative of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and American Cleaning Institute. This 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.

Why is this program important?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Cleaning Institute have recognized the dire need for young people to wash their hands to decrease the spread of illnesses and absenteeism in the classroom. Nearly 22 million school days are lost due to the common cold alone, not to mention other diseases that are caused by bacteria and viruses.

How can I get my school involved?

To learn more about the Healthy Schools, Healthy People, It’s a SNAP! Program and how you can get involved, review the About Us page. Download the free materials to get started.

Click on the links below for a printable PDF version of the materials.
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We encourage you to use our hand hygiene materials anytime. However, if you are interested in applying for national recognition you should be aware that the deadline to submit your entry is January 31. The national award recipient school will receive an all-expense paid trip for three to meet with leaders from CDC, ACI, industry and Capitol Hill and much more!

How much does the program cost?

It is FREE! All you have to do is download the materials at www.itsasnap.org OR order a copy by emailing to SNAP@cleaninginstitute.org.

Who can participate?

The Healthy Schools, Healthy People, It’s a SNAP! National Awards Recognition program is intended for educational purposes and is open to all public/private K-12 schools in states, territories and tribes within the US. Teachers of all disciplines, students, school nurses and other health personnel, food service staff, custodial/maintenance staff, administrators and parents are also encouraged to participate.

How do I apply for national recognition?

Applying is as easy as 1, 2, 3!
     1. Write or type in your school information on the Application Form.
     2. Attach a one page summary of your project.
Be sure to include how your team implemented the key handwashing messages.
     3. Include supporting information.
     Attach or link to online pictures, blogs, articles, posters, videos*, etc.
     *Any video submitted should be less than 5 minutes

Send to: SNAP@cleaninginstitute.org

Electronic submission strongly encouraged. You can email your one page summary, supplemental materials and Application Form to SNAP@cleaninginstitute.org. To include a video, we recommend that you upload it to SchoolTube or YouTube and include the link in your email.

If you need to mail any materials, please send to:

Healthy Schools, Healthy People, It’s a SNAP!
1331 L Street NW, Suite 650
Washington DC, 20005

What are the key handwashing messages?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends when you should wash your hands and the right way to wash. They also give guidance on using hand sanitizer when you don?t have soap and clean, running water. To be eligible for national recognition, clean hands projects, activities and campaigns must include the key handwashing messages on the handwashing page.

What is the deadline to apply for national recognition?

The deadline to apply for national recognition is January 31.

Do you have a sample application?

Click here to view the one page summary from the 2016 project that earned the national award.

How will the school projects, activities and campaigns be evaluated for the national recognition?

Projects, activities and campaigns, that are submitted for the national award recognition, will be evaluated on

  • Creativity
  • Ability for other schools or communities to replicate your project
  • Evidence of teamwork
  • Adherence to guidelines (must use key handwashing messages)
  • Program impact
    • How many others (students, family friends, etc) did you share the key handwashing messages with?
    • What are your ideas for sharing the messages in the future?

Download the complete Awards Application Guidelines.

What are the awards for the national recognition?

The top recipients will receive national recognition and media attention. One top classroom project will be selected to receive the national award. In some circumstances, exceptional runner-up projects may also be recognized.

The top-recipient classroom will receive special recognition for the entire classroom. Up to three representatives from the school will receive an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. to meet with leaders from CDC, ACI, industry, and Capitol Hill.

All participating classrooms who apply for national recognition will receive a certificate of recognition. Schools can also share their story on the Clean Hands Honor Roll.

When will award recipients be contacted?

Award recipients will be contacted by February.

Who developed the program?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Cleaning Institute (ACI ) worked in collaboration to develop the Healthy Schools, Healthy People, It’s a SNAP Program.

ACI is the non-profit trade association representing manufacturers of household, industrial, and institutional cleaning products; their ingredients; and finished packaging (for more information, visit the ACI website at www.cleaninginstitute.org).

CDC is recognized as the lead federal agency for protecting the health and safety of people at home and abroad, providing credible information to enhance health decisions, and promoting health through strong partnerships (for more information, visit the CDC website at www.cdc.gov).

Do you have a one-page information sheet I can use to promote the program?

You can download our one-pager here:

Who do I contact if my questions have not been answered here?

Please email any additional questions to SNAP@cleaninginstitute.org.

Healthy Schools, Healthy People, It’s a SNAP! (School Network for Absenteeism Prevention). Established 2003. The information contained in this website was compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Cleaning Institute®. This information is not copyrighted. It is for educational purposes only.

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