Students receive national recognition for hand washing campaign
Diamond View School students Abby Cooper, Clarissa Faustino, Mykela Nimmo, Mazzy Schmidt and Samantha Tiffany accept a $4,000 check for their school. They won the Top Classroom Award from the Healthy Schools, Healthy People: It’s a SNAP program, for their skit Jeremy Germ and the Germinators. See "Read more" for additional photos. Photos by Ruth Elli
May 15, 2012 — Representatives from a national organization came to Susanville for an award ceremony honoring a group of students and public health employees for their efforts in promoting the importance of hand washing.
For their skit, Jeremy Germ and the Germinators, Diamond View School students Mazzy Schmidt, Clarissa Faustino, Abby Cooper, Vanessa Rios, Mykela Nimmo and Samantha Tiffany earned the Top Classroom Award from the Healthy Schools, Healthy People: It’s a SNAP program, a joint initiative between the American Cleaning Institute (ACL) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The group was selected from thousands of entries.
Lassen County Public Health educator Bethany DuVarney and public health nurse Christi Myers were also recognized for their involvement in the project.
Nancy Bock, Senior Vice President of Education at ACL, and Martha Chapin, manager of education, flew out from Washington D.C. for the ceremony held Saturday, May 5, at Bekins Stage at the Lassen County Fairgrounds, where they presented the students, Myers and DuVarney with plaques.
The girls were also given a $4,000 check for the school and won an all-expense paid trip to Washington D.C. where they will meet with leaders from the CDC, ACI, the cleaning products industry and elected officials on Capitol Hill.
|Diamond View School students Clarissa Faustino, left, and Mazzy Schmidt, as the germinators, fight off Jeremy the Germ, played by Abby Cooper. The girls performed the play during an awards ceremony held Saturday, May 5 at the Lassen County Fairgrounds where representatives from the American Cleaning Institute recognized the girls for their efforts in promoting hand washing.|
Chapin also announced Diamond View School will be receiving cleaning and hand sanitizing products from cleaning industry sponsors.
Jeremy Germ and the Germinators tells about two germinator superheroes saving two girls — who hadn’t washed their hands — from Jeremy the germ. The germinators explain how germs are spread, but practicing good hand washing can defeat them.
Bock said, “The expert review panel that evaluated the award entries loved how these students devised a funny, thoughtful and imaginative way to teach the importance of hand hygiene. Something special always happens when you invite middle school students to be creative. They truly deserved the top honor this year for their skit that focused on clean hands and better health.”
She said, “I’ve been doing this program for a long, long time and I have to say this is one of the best programs I’ve seen.”
The skit was made into a booklet and the girls also created bulletin boards, posters, brochures and flyers with key hand washing messages and have performed the skit throughout Susanville School District and at Lit Jam.
A public service announcement was also created and played by a local radio station.
Bock said the Healthy Schools, Healthy People program allows students to discover the power they have to impact their community and peers. She said the local efforts will be shared nationwide.
She called the girls “ideal role models for Diamond View, county schools, as well as across the nation.”
DuVarney wrote the skit Jeremy Germ and the Germinators and brought it back to the school she attended as a youth to see if she could get students involved.
The skit was made possible through funding from the Lassen County Health’s Pandemic Influenza Prevention Program.
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