Founded in 1897, Alliance Francaise de Chicago is part of an international network of over 1,100 Alliances and affiliated cultural centers worldwide and the second oldest Alliance Francaise in the United States. From preschool programs to kids and teens classes to workshops to summer camps, there are many activities and events that take place within the institution’s historic buildings in the heart of downtown Chicago.
With such a rich history and robust educational offerings, Alliance Francaise de Chicago prides itself on continuing its long tradition of celebrating the French language and culture for its nearly 2,000 members. Creating a welcoming environment for all ages and levels of French is key. Cleanliness plays an important role in making members feel comfortable.
“When you are part of a community, you have a responsibility to help support that community,” said Mary Ellen Connellan, Executive Director, Alliance Francaise de Chicago. “We want to give our students, teachers, administrators, parents and others peace of mind that our facility is clean and safe so they can focus on cultural enrichment.”
Over the course of the pandemic, Alliance Francaise de Chicago implemented a hybrid approach to learning and engagement. The availability of online classes and on-site classes, private lessons and events have enabled members to take full advantage of the cultural center’s offerings, even during the most challenging times. To ensure the safety of both children and adults, a strategic approach to cleaning and disinfection was paramount.
To improve the facility’s readiness to clean during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, Alliance Francaise de Chicago’s trusted cleaning service provider, GSF USA, installed an on-site generator from PathoSans® in September 2020. Using water, salt and electricity, the system creates two electrochemically-activated cleaning and disinfecting solutions (ECAS).
The first solution, PathoClean®, is a multi-purpose cleaner that removes harmful collections of microorganisms called biofilms and prepares surfaces for disinfection. The other solution, PathoCide®, is a sanitizer/disinfectant that can kill 99.999% of bacteria in seconds and is effective against a range of viruses including SARS-CoV-2, the pathogen that causes COVID-19.
“Parents are rightfully concerned with their children, which is why we are dedicated to communicating the safety measures we have in place,” added Connellan. “PathoSans is a big part of our approach to safety. We know the solutions will not harm the environment and more importantly, they will not harm our students and staff.”
Alliance Francaise de Chicago has benefitted from this enhanced approach to cleaning and disinfecting in several ways, including:
The on-site generator ensures cleaner and disinfectant are always available for GSF’s team. The PathoSans solutions effectively tackle visible soils and underlying pathogens, thereby improving the look and feel of surfaces. Additionally, the products do not leave behind chemical residue that can make surfaces appear dull or become dirty more quickly. The solutions have also been used to promptly clean up spilled liquids to avoid stains.
Noticeable drop in cases of illness.
Connellan notes that students are getting sick less frequently, including during flu season. Hand hygiene, social distancing and face coverings play a part in this positive trend, along with the fact that the school is regularly cleaning and disinfecting to reduce the spread of harmful pathogens that can survive on surfaces.
Greater assurance in student, staff and visitor safety and wellbeing.
“No one is breathing in harmful products,” says Connellan. This is because, unlike many conventional cleaning chemicals, the PathoSans solutions do not contain toxic ingredients, fragrances or dyes that can aggravate health conditions. They are just as effective at eradicating viruses, bacteria and fungi. This gives the school and its members confidence that pathogens of concern are being properly managed.
“Being transparent about the protocols we have is key,” added Connellan. “The extra measures our school has taken to clean and disinfect have made everyone feel very secure. PathoSans and GSF are a big part of our commitment to safety.”
Download the PDF here: Alliance Francaise de Chicago Case Study