The Litchfield students who won the 2019 Healthy Schools, Healthy People, It’s a SNAP! contest went on an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C., May 15-17.

Sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and American Cleaning Institute, the girls toured the nation’s capital, cramming in monuments and museum trips during their time. The students also got to meet a Minnesota native and presidential candidate during their three-day stay.

At her Senate office, Sen. Amy Klobuchar spoke to Litchfield seventh-graders Ellie Brown, Shelby Dengerud, Olivia Olson and Camryn Iverson about their work promoting proper hand-washing and hygiene in their community.

“Developing proper hygiene is important for healthy schools and communities to help prevent the spread of infections and avoid getting sick,” said Klobuchar. “Our students from Litchfield are the leaders of tomorrow and they have done incredible work promoting handwashing in their community. I am proud to see Minnesotans representing our state so well on the national stage.”

The Litchfield students created a podcast and lessons they called “Clean Start” to help students learn proper hand hygiene habits. The students taught a group of preschoolers and 118 fifth-graders how to wash their hands correctly and provided information about the risks of spreading germs and bacteria.

Brown said the trip was a once in a lifetime experience.

“We are so grateful for the opportunity,” she said.