Binghamton, NY. August 15, 2002 – In a joint
announcement today, Binghamton Rotary President Lana Rouff, Broome County Health
Department Director, Claudia Edwards, Sandra Saunders Broome/Tioga BOCES School
Nurse Coordinator and John Spencer, Executive Director of the United Way of
Broome County are kicking off a new program to benefit the community -
Breaking the Lice Cycle: Broome’s Nit Picky Project.
Made possible by grants from the United Way, Helen T. Howland Foundation and
Binghamton Rotary Charities, Inc., this program will provide materials and
valuable training to school nurses in elementary schools and Head Start
programs. The nurses will share information with parents to help break the “Lice
Cycle.” “The United Way is pleased to join this partnership that will improve
children’s health and school performance as well as enhance the quality of life
for Broome County residents”, remarked John Spencer, Executive Director of the
United Way of Broome County.
In recent years, the incidence of head lice among elementary and pre-school
children has reached almost epidemic proportions. Even the most diligent parent
is often defeated in trying to control the problem because of a high rate of
re-occurrence. “Children miss many days of school due to head lice and school
attendance is crucial in order to meet New York State Standards” said Sandra
Saunders, BOCES School Nurse Coordinator.
“Parents often turn to chemical treatments in their frustration to rid their
child of head lice. With this project, all school districts will be taking a
unified approach by educating the parents about the most effective prevention
methods and the safest ways to control of head lice. These techniques should
minimize children’s unnecessary exposure to potentially harmful chemicals” noted
Claudia Edwards, MS., Public Health Director.
"Congratulations to the entire Binghamton community for modeling what can be
accomplished when a community works together. Children's health in general will
be greatly improved when others follow their lead to put education and
prevention ahead of panic and otherwise desperate need to find the cure." said
Deborah Z. Altschuler, President, National Pediculosis Association.
“Binghamton Rotary is concerned about this problem in our schools and is happy
to be working with these agencies to find a solution” said Lana Rouffe,
President, Binghamton Rotary. The official kick-off is August 19, 2002 with an
open house for school nurses at 10:30 a.m. at the Broome County Health
Department with the program in full swing by the beginning of the school year.