FORT FAIRFIELD and FRENCHVILLE, Maine — On Monday, Jan. 7, students and staff at Fort Fairfield Elementary School and the Dr. Levesque Elementary School in Frenchville will join students around Maine in the second annual WinterKids Winter Games.
Thirty-one elementary schools around the state will participate in this physical and nutritional competition, which encourages young children to develop healthy habits over its four-week duration. Each school will try to earn as many points as possible for the grand prize: $5,000 donated to their school. In total 7,635 students and 650 teachers and staff from every county in Maine will be participating in the games.
Each week of the program will feature one challenge, and the percentage of students who complete the challenge will determine how many points each school receives. Students will be challenged to complete five outdoor activities in week one, complete five healthy eating activities in week two, complete these activities at home with their families in week three, and participate in a winter carnival celebrating outdoor activity in week four.
Schools will hold additional events to support these goals, like hosting opening and closing ceremonies, collaborating with nutritional organizations and hosting events focusing on family health.
Schools can earn bonus points by exceeding the minimum activity requirements, inviting guest speakers to school, and including non-teaching staff in the competition. WinterKids will also grant weekly “Wild Card” bonus points. Schools will submit their favorite moment of the Winter Games from that week (photo, video or text) to a panel of judges.
“The inaugural year of the WinterKids Winter Games exceeded our expectations tenfold. Teachers, students, parents and entire communities embraced this program with enthusiasm and a spirit of friendly competition that is unsurpassed,” said Julie Mulkern, WinterKids’ executive director.
“We are so excited to double the participation in the games this year and see what schools have in store to celebrate winter and stay active,” Mulkern said.
The winter games will close on Feb. 8 and winners will be announced on Feb. 15. In addition to the $5,000 grand prize, there is a prize of $3,000 for silver and $1,500 for bronze.
Learn more at www.winterkids.org.