Minneapolis Public Schools is planning for its first ever WINTER WELLNESS WEEK with a week-long virtual medal hunt, complete with rhyming clues, and themed days and events designed to foster a culture of social, emotional, and physical well-being across the district. We also want to celebrate and to find joy in Minnesota Winter. Indeed, finding joy in winter has real consequences for those who practice, as described in this article about Tromsø, Norway, where rates of seasonal depression are remarkably low. Our events also coincide with The Great Northern, a festival that combines three major winter events over 11 days to embrace the season.
In addition to daily themes and events, staff teams will be participating in Scavenger Hunt Activities all week long (see Resources sidebar). Look for our scavenger hunters building snowmen and shoveling snow for school neighbors.They will also be working together to solve the clues in the Virtual Medal Hunt to win a grand prize. SEE LIST of STAFF TEAMS and contact Lindsay.Biller@mpls.k12.mn.us for more information.
MONDAY Be Well Moment: Students are not in school, but during staff professional development sessions on this day, PE and health teachers will learn strategies for improving emotional health and well being that they can take back to their schools during Winter Wellness Week.
TUESDAY Tall Sock Tuesday: Let's dress for being outside! Sport your tall socks and your winter hat and show that being warm is oh so cool. Health teachers and classroom teachers also have winter safety lessons that they can use to celebrate this day (see Resources sidebar).
WEDNESDAY Winter Walk Day: Whether you celebrate walking to school or at school, this is the day to get outside and enjoy the magical winter light. And something warm awaits our students when they come in from the cold this day! Lunch will include TURKEY CHILI, the winning recipe of the 2016 MPS Junior Iron Chef Competition. Also, in celebration of Winter Wellness Week, high schools will be premiering warm oatmeal as a breakfast option this day.
Has my school signed up? SEE LIST of REGISTERED SCHOOLS
THURSDAY Local Cozy Lunch: Winter is the season for "cozy" home-cooked meals that warm you up after being out in the cold, and nothing says cozy and home-cooked more than oven-fried chicken. au gratin potatoes, and mixed vegetables! Lunch this day will feature anti-biotic free SMART chicken and Farm to School potatoes.
FRIDAY Freestyle Friday: Build a snowman, make a snow angel, or try ice skating at one of our Minneapolis Parks, many of which offer warming houses and free loaner skates… It doesn't matter which activity you choose. Just get out and do winter your way.
USE #mpswinterwellness on social media to show your participation in all the winter FUN!
New clues arrive every day during MPS Wellness Week at 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Click here for the latest clue.
POSTER Winter Wellness Week
Scavenger Hunt: RULES
Scavenger Hunt: GAME BOARD
Scavenger Hunt: FAQ
Lesson plan: Winter Weather Safety
Winter Walk Day Ideas
Snow Shoveling Teams
Get Out of a Bad Mood
Water: An Important Part of a Healthy Winter Diet
Walking Tips: Ice and Snow (youtube video)
Winter Biking Tips
Walk TO School Flyer (4 languages)
Staff Wellness: Lindsay Biller, email@example.com
Farm to School: Kate Seybold, firstname.lastname@example.org
Winter Walk Day: Jenny Bordon, email@example.com
MPS Winter Safety and School Closing Information
The State of Vermont recommended below -25C/-13F for postponing or modifying Winter Walk Day events.
Schools must decide what works for the school community. Winter Walk Day can be held on whatever day works best for the school.