UNION — Week three of WinterKids at Union Elementary Students was busy, as the students built Olympic podiums with pallets and power tools, making Public Service Announcements for vegetables, building snowmen in the fresh blizzard snow, and sledding with their families, but there was time for three guests speakers during lunch and recess times.

Photo courtesy of Donna Munro.

Monday brought Marine Patrol Officer John Luellen to talk about how to become a MPO and the different parts of the job. He is also a father of two children at school and husband to second grade teacher, Greta Luellen, which fit right in with Family Engagement Week for WinterKids. Officer Luellen answered all the questions students prepared to ask; we learned a lot.

At Wednesday recess, Game Warden Chris Dyer snowshoed with us to our nature trail. He taught us how, and when, to use a compass and how to track animals. Using the animal tracks cards, we identified red fox tracks. He taught some valuable lessons about using a compass when you’re lost. Fun and educational, even though it’s a lot of work to get every one into their snowshoes.

Game Warden Chris Daly teaches tracking. Photo courtesy of Donna Munro.

Thursday’s lunchtime guest, Jesse Ellis, MSC, LCSW-CC, is our UES school based mental health provider. She was the right person to teach us a bit about families and signs for different family members — mom, dad, cousins, brothers, sisters, etc. Ellis is fluent in ASL and captivated the entire lunch room as she taught sign language.

WinterKids has provided a backdrop of so many valuable lessons for Union Elementary in the sometimes long, cold months of January and February; we are so glad to be part of such a great program.

Jesse Ellis and Jack the Yeti teach sign language. Photo courtesy of Donna Munro.