UNION — Students from Union Elementary School are participating in the WinterKids Winter Games for four weeks beginning Jan. 17, 2022. Students compete in a series of outdoor physical activity and nutrition challenges designed to help them be active in the winter and learn healthy habits. Each school is encouraged to involve volunteers, parents, healthy eating and active living organizations in their community, and hold a winter carnival to close out the month’s events. This year’s WinterKids Winter Games theme is Winter Olympic Games.

Schools applied for entry into the Winter Games, in hopes of earning the top prize — $10,000. All elementary schools in Maine’s sixteen counties were eligible to participate. This year, 22 schools reaching 3,805 children, and over 900 teachers and staff, will be competing. Union Elementary School is one of the Knox County schools for 2022. Schools competing in the WinterKids Winter Games receive a toolkit of resources and incentives to help students earn points, including, the brand new WinterKids Learn Outside Guide — an easy to use resource to help kids move, learn, and explore outdoors while meeting education standards.

“We were thrilled to be selected to participate in the WinterKids Winter Games,” said Donna Munro, a fourth grade teacher. “This is an exciting opportunity to showcase healthy behaviors with our students, and to work toward earning prizes for our school. We have a series of activities planned this month, including: snowshoeing, a snowball biathlon, and bob sledding.”

Schools participating in the WinterKids Winter Games accrue points for cash prize awards: $10,000 – Gold Medal School, $7,500 – Silver Medal School, and $5,000 – Bronze Medal School. The remaining 19 schools will also receive cash awards based on their place at the end of the competition. A total of $50,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded by WinterKids this year.

For a complete list of participating schools, or questions regarding the WinterKids Winter Games, visit www.winterkids.org.

WinterKids is the nonprofit organization that helps children develop healthy lifelong habits through education and fun, outdoor winter activity. The organization delivers innovative outdoor programs for families, schools, and communities.

Union Elementary School students. Photo courtesy of Union Elementary School.