CARIBOU, Maine — For the first time in two years, weather allowed for a “Winter Fun Day” at Teague Park Elementary School on Feb. 15.
Teague Park Principal Cheryl Hallowell said the event, which is usually held in March, was not held at the school for the last two years due to rain, which led to slushy conditions. As a result, students went to the city recreation center and spent some time on the bounce castle instead.
This year, however, Hallowell said the weather was perfect.
“With Maine winters, it’s very unpredictable,” she said, “but this year is perfect, and we really want the kids to be able to play outside.”
The event has been held at Hilltop Elementary (which has now closed and is temporarily consolidated with Teague Park) for “at least seven years” according to the principal.
This year, the school worked closely with the local Parks and Recreation Department to coordinate a variety of different “stations” outside the Bennett Drive school, allowing children to roam the snowy playground and choose from sledding down a giant hill, taking a ride in the tank-like Bombardier Skidozer 252 (driven by Parks and Rec Superintendent Gary Marquis), playing Broomball, Snolf (a blend of “snow” and “golf”), making snow paintings with food coloring, or skiing.
Hallowell said that, with grades K to 3 at Teague Park, it was more effective to break the event into two parts, with kindergarteners and first graders playing outside from 9-10:15 a.m., and second and third graders going out from 1-2:15 p.m.
“We have an extra grade level now,” she said, “and even with three [at Hilltop] that line would be too long. It also helped with parking, since this is a family event and students’ families are welcome to come.”
Hallowell said the students had a “wonderful time” with the school’s first big event of 2018.
“There were smiles all around,” she said. “No tears. They really just enjoyed themselves, and had a great time.”
(Photos by Christopher Bouchard)