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NSF Scrub Club
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 19, 2008

CONTACTS:
Greta Houlahan
NSF International
Phone: +1.734.913.5723
Email: houlahan@nsf.org

Josh Kittner
American Red Cross
Phone: +1.202.303.4249
Email: KittnerJ@usa.redcross.org

American Red Cross and NSF Scrub Club® Announce Collaborative Agreement

Agreement Continues to Expand Scrub Club's Reach Nationwide

Scott Connor and Will Fisher Sign Agreement

Scott Conner, Red Cross Senior Vice President, Preparedness and Health and Safety Services, and William Fisher, NSF Vice President Sign Collaborative Agreement


WASHINGTON, D.C. - The American Red Cross and NSF International today announced a collaborative agreement that brings together two organizations with a similar mission - helping to protect public health. Collectively, NSF, the Red Cross and seven "soaper-heroes" will teach children the importance of proper and consistent handwashing. The collaborative agreement gives the Red Cross the right to advertise, promote and co-brand the Scrub Club®.

"Proper handwashing is vital for people of all ages, and especially important for children who need to learn this life lesson at an early age. The Scrub Club's fun and interactive nature makes learning these important lessons enjoyable," said Scott Conner, Senior Vice President of Preparedness and Health and Safety Services for the Red Cross. "We are excited to collaborate with NSF International and help make a difference in the lives of children across America."

The Scrub Club® (www.scrubclub.org) is an interactive Web site that offers free classroom materials to raise awareness about the benefits of handwashing to fight germs and prevent illness. The fun, Web based experience is complete with educational materials, music, games and cartoon "Webisodes." NSF will work closely with the Red Cross to develop tools and opportunities to help its chapter network, which consists of more than 700 chapters, to share this important information in their communities.

"Children are especially vulnerable to germs at child care facilities and in schools," said William Fisher, NSF Vice President. "Through our common mission of protecting public health, the Red Cross and NSF will help more children learn how to protect themselves from illness with proper handwashing," explained Fisher. 

The Scrub Club is being used by hundreds of schools nationwide, and teachers continue to integrate the Scrub Club educational activities into their daily curriculum. These educational materials are currently available in French, English and Spanish. 

"The Scrub Club has been a tremendous success, and together with the Red Cross, we can reach out to more schools, hospitals and community organizations to emphasize the importance of proper and consistent handwashing," said Fisher. 

Under the new agreement, the Scrub Club® will be incorporated into the Red Cross Child Care Program. By offering children, parents and teachers a fun and educational Web site, the overall goal is to reduce the number of sick days and ultimately improve the overall hygiene of children and adults. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates each year more than 164 million school days are lost due to illness, a number that could be significantly reduced with proper handwashing. 

Background on the Scrub Club®

Each of the Scrub Club "soaper-heroes" represents one of the six steps in the handwashing process - "Hot Shot" and "Chill" combine to make the warm water essential for proper handwashing; "Squeaks" turns into various forms of soap; "Taki" becomes a clock that counts down the required 20 seconds for proper handwashing; "Scruff" reminds kids to clean around their nails; "Tank" turns into a sink to rinse away the germs and "P.T." transforms into paper towels.

Through animated "Webisodes" children team up with the Scrub Club's seven "soaper-heroes" to learn the six steps of handwashing. In addition to the Webisodes, there are interactive games, educational materials and activities to download, Spanish and French handwashing materials, a curriculum guide for teachers and even a catchy handwashing tune. Materials, such as a Scrub Club® membership card, posters, stickers for teachers and parents, can be downloaded directly from the site.

For more information about the collaborative agreement or the Scrub Club®, please contact Greta Houlahan at 734.913.5723, houlahan@nsf.org or visit www.scrubclub.org.

About NSF International: NSF International, an independent, not-for-profit organization, helps protect you by certifying products and writing standards for food, water and consumer goods (www.nsf.org). Founded in 1944, NSF is committed to protecting public health and safety worldwide. NSF is a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Food and Water Safety and Indoor Environment. Additional services include safety audits for the food and water industries, management systems registrations delivered through NSF International Strategic Registrations, organic certification provided by Quality Assurance International and education through the NSF Center for Public Health Education.

About the American Red Cross: The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and counsels victims of disasters; provides nearly half of the nation's blood supply; teaches lifesaving skills; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization - not a government agency - and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its humanitarian mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at www.redcrosschat.org.



Scrub Club® and Scrub Club characters are copyright 2007 NSF International.
"BAC" character copyright 2006 The Partnership for Food Safety Education.

Please distribute Scrub Club® materials freely in classrooms, publications, etc.,
provided that credit is given to NSF International.