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Rotary Club Joins Partnership
to Fight Head Lice Epidemic In Schools


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.



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