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CleaningMatters logo sm November/December 2010


2010 Clean Homes...Safe and Healthy Families Award

 NEAFCS 2010 Award recipients
Left – Joan Vinette, Michigan
Center – Mary Ann Lienhart Cross, NEAFCS President
Right – Robin Eubank, Kansas
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The annual Clean Homes…Safe and Healthy Families Award honors members of the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (NEAFCS) for innovative educational programs that utilize any American Cleaning Institute® educational materials (including those concerned with home safety and disaster preparedness) to help families and individuals understand the link between clean and safe homes and good health.

The 2010 recipients were honored at the NEAFCS Annual Session in Portland, Maine, September 20-24, 2010, where they each received a $500 cash award.

Kansas Hand Hygiene Project

Robin Eubank, Barber County, Kansas Family and Consumer Science Extension Agent teamed up with Heather Henke, NEAFCS Member and director of the Barber County Community Health Department, to use a multi-faceted approach to reducing illness by increasing awareness of hand hygiene in the schools and community. They developed a program to teach hand hygiene to grade school students, to reinforce knowledge with junior high and high school students, and to teach parents and other members of the public the health benefits of proper hand hygiene. They used a range of materials, including ACI’s “Hooray for Handwashing” booklet and take-home handouts for students, as well as creating posters for restrooms and classrooms.

At an outdoor reading session for the younger students, hand sanitizer was provided for students to use as lunch was eaten outside under the trees. Another session utilized Glo Germ so that students could see the success—or lack thereof—of their handwashing techniques. In their application, the team cited one of their success reports that came from a school secretary who reported, “Flu related absences dropped off after the September round of hand hygiene lessons. Many factors could have contributed to this decline; however, the timing suggests that improved hand hygiene could have been a key factor.”

Michigan Senior Center Apartment Upgrade Project

Joan Vinette, Extension Educator, Michigan State University Extension-Alger County, teamed up with Elizabeth Raiala, from the Munising Senior Citizens Club and Christine Rosenberg from Experience Works, a national non-profit organization that offers training, employment and community service opportunists for mature workers. The project involved the renovation of a rental apartment above the Munising Senior Citizens club. The rent on this unit provides primary support for the organization’s programs. Leaky pipes, inadequate electric service causing outages, moldy bathroom ceilings and walls, carpet odor, chipped paint and peeling wallpaper were some of the obstacles that needed to be overcome to create a profit revenue stream. A community partnership was established to get the task done. MSU Extension curriculum materials and ACI cleaning resources, including ACI’s “Hard Surface Hygiene” Fact Sheet, were shared. The team found it especially convenient to be able to go to ACI’s website,, to get answers to questions as they occurred during the whole renovation project.

Check out for application information for the 2011 award. The activity or program must have been conducted by an Extension Agent in the past two years. Applications may be submitted by an individual or team.

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