Principal Larry Clement of Searsport Elementary School passed along an update, written by participating teachers, on the WinterKids activities at his school.

Because of the pandemic, this year's model is less of a competition and more of an effort to include everyone and make sure they are getting outside.

This year, the third, fourth and fifth graders at Searsport Elementary School are enjoying a four-week WinterKids celebration. Teachers include Amy Hafford, third grade; Melissa Hebert, fourth grade; Melissa Jagger, fifth grade; and Katie Legere, fifth grade.

The school is all decked out, including the second-floor hallway, which is decorated to resemble a snow tunnel with white lights, hanging bulbs and snowflakes.

The WinterKids theme this year is circles, and with the support of Ms. Lyons, the art teacher, students have created mascot signs. The third graders are pirate seals, the third/fourth graders are the lobster team, and the fifth graders have a panda mascot.

Outside activities, exercises and lessons have centered around the circle theme.

"Ms. Eastman, our guidance counselor, led us in Dynamic Mindfulness lessons in a large circle on the playground. Tina Cook, our food service/nutrition director, created lessons and healthy snacks for our students during nutrition week. We are looking forward to many more exciting activities," reads the update.

This year, WinterKids adapted the fourth annual Winter Games to include hybrid and remote learning models in schools. The games will wrap up Feb. 5.

The nonprofit group with a mission to develop healthy, lifelong habits through fun outdoor winter activity provides resources for teachers and parents to get their kids outside and active.

Several other Waldo County schools and classrooms are participating in the month-long event, including Ames Elementary School in Searsmont, which is competing with three teachers and 56 students; Leroy H. Smith in Winterport with two teachers and 40 students competing; Islesboro Central School with one teacher and 30 students competing; Walker Elementary School in Liberty competing with one teacher and 12 students; and Gladys Weymouth School in Morrill with two home-schooled students participating.