Schools across the country are fighting to control the spread of illness. So it's no surprise that administrators and environmental services managers are taking steps to improve the cleanliness of their schools, for both students and teachers, by adopting self-cleaning NanoSeptic® surfaces in and out of the classroom.
"We're always trying to create a cleaner environment for students and teachers in an effort to reduce absenteeism and the associated costs," says Dr. Henry Kiernan , Superintendent with the Bellmore-Merrick School District in New York. "The NanoTouch® products provide an additional benefit of communicating our commitment, which plays an important role in our relationship with parents."
Bellmore-Merrick has installed facility touch points, including door push pads and handle wraps, on all bathroom doors in an initial 5 high schools. Other schools have brought the portable NanoSeptic surfaces into the classroom in the form of snack mats and desk mats.
"The pre-school students were fascinated by the snack mats and what they did. The children focused intently on keeping their snacks on the mat," says Bonny Phillips , teacher at Liberty Christian Academy's Early Learning Center. "It also provided an additional opportunity for learning about cleanliness and food handling."
With the current emphasis on nutrition and the prevention of childhood obesity, NanoTouch recently developed a ChooseMyPlate version of their snack mat based on the USDA's Food Guidance System. It has the MyPlate dietary graphic on the front and additional dietary guidelines and suggestions on the back. Additional products that show great promise in education are counter mats for use in the front office, nurse's office or even teacher desks, and NanoSeptic mouse pads for use in computer labs where multiple student contact is an every-day occurrence. NanoSeptic iPad sleeves have been successfully developed and will be ready for shipment in the second quarter of 2013.
"Schools will continue to use one-time kill products like disinfectants, but NanoTouch enhances their cleaning efforts by working to eliminate even hard-to-kill microbes such as C. Diff, 24 hours a day, seven days a week," says Mark Sisson , co-founder of NanoTouch. "And because alcohol based hand sanitizers pose a risk of fire around kids, NanoTouch products help to fill that void in schools."
In today's world of shrinking budgets, it's sometimes difficult for schools to find funding for advanced technologies like NanoTouch, even when these products are inexpensive. However, some innovative thinking by a community bank has led to several classrooms being equipped with NanoSeptic snack mats. SelectBank, headquartered in Forest, Virginia, donates snack mats to area pre-schools and day cares as a way to give back to their community.
"When we can help area schools and children, and get some positive recognition from parents, that's good for our community and for our business," says Sherri Sackett , Marketing Manager at SelectBank.
And the parents at these schools are enthusiastically embracing the use of this new nanotechnology.
"We were very excited to hear that our son's school has started using this new product," says Robert Thomas , parent of a student at the Blue Ridge Montessori School. "Not only is this creating a cleaner classroom environment for our child, but it's doing so in a healthier way, without poisons or heavy metals. And it's such a unique product line that the school is considering selling the travel kits as a fundraiser."
"NanoTouch is out to make the world a better and healthier place to live, work, and play. This is particularly important for sensitive populations, such as our youth," says NanoTouch co-founder, Dennis Hackemeyer . "And, what can't be understated is the communications ability of NanoTouch products to educate and change behavior.'"