At Doty School they’re doing the Winter Wellness Program a little differently this year. And, according to principal Matt Young, things are working fantastically! The school used some of the grant money that all schools get for winter wellness to build an outdoor ice skating rink and to add to their cross country ski and snowshoe equipment.
Now, instead of spending time riding a bus to the trails or the rink, all winter wellness time is spent skiing on snowmobile trails, snowshoeing, sledding and skating close to school. An extra benefit is that the students are able to do these activities more often – 8 times instead of only 5 – with less disruption of classroom time.
For the new rink, school staff worked with the Worcester selectboard to figure out a mutually accessible site and they decided on a site across the street from the school. There are plans to build a warming hut next to the rink. The rink is open to the public when the school isn’t using it.
All the students got a chance to do everything (skiing, snowshoeing, sledding and skating) and for the last two winter wellness sessions, they got to choose which activity they wanted to do. Even if the grant money goes away, the program will be sustained. What a great program that reflects community values!