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Willmar, Minn., students get firsthand look at combatting germs

Students show their illuminated hands Monday while standing iside Germ City, light-tight canvas enclosure illuminated only with black lights. Tribune photo by Gary Miller

WILLMAR -- Hand washing is something children learn at an early age.

How good a job they do was the reason for Germ City's visit Monday to Kennedy Elementary School in Willmar.

A state Department of Health program, Germ City consists of a light-tight canvas enclosure illuminated only with black lights, GlitterBug Potion and the guidance of Germ City intern Amanda Krentz.

Before entering Germ City, kindergarten-, first- and second-grade students rubbed the potion, a liquid that glows under black light, which represented germs, on their hands.

Then they headed for nearby bathrooms to wash their hands and returned to see under the black light how much of the "germs" they'd eliminated.

Inside Germ City, they could see where they needed to pay more attention: fingernails, between fingers or their palms.

Doing a good job of washing hands is easy, Krentz told the youngsters. All it takes is 20 seconds, soap and water.

Gary Miller

Born and attended public schools in Willmar, Minn. Served 20 years in U.S. Navy as a photojournalist. Worked at West Central Tribune since retiring from the Navy in 1994.

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