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Memorial Hospital’s Let’s Go! 5-2-1-0 Program Brings New Winter Challenge for MWV Schools

December 30, 2020

Mount Washington Valley teachers, students and families in grades K-8 will participate in the WinterKids Winter Games, a four-week series of fun outdoor physical and nutrition challenges.

winterkids.org

The Winter Games is program of WinterKids, an organization established in 1997 to help children in Maine and New Hampshire develop healthy, lifelong habits through education and outdoor fun. The four-week program begins January 11. More than 500 students from local schools including Jackson Grammar School, Robert Frost Charter School, Freedom Elementary, John Fuller Elementary, Josiah Bartlett Elementary, and Pine Tree Elementary are expected to participate. Overall WinterKids’ expects 400 teachers and 8,000 students and families in the state of Maine and in Mount Washington Valley, New Hampshire to participate.

“WinterKids provides resources for both teachers and parents to get their kids outside and active. Weekly challenges include outdoor physical activity, nutrition, and family engagement. The program’s winter carnival helps promote resilience, inclusion, community, and service. Weekly prizes are made possible through the Memorial Hospital Foundation Children’s Wellness Fund,” said Heather Phillips, Memorial’s coordinator of Population Health Programs and the local organizer for the WinterKids Winter Games.

Whether students are learning in-person or at home, they are encouraged to participate in the Winter Games. “With the pandemic, our local schools have embraced outdoor learning and it is often used to avoid the negative effects of excessive screen time, particularly for those at the elementary school level,” said Phillips.

Every family receives a playbook to use at home, plus weekly incentives, an app membership and the opportunity to win prizes. The games are typically very competitive. Schools earn points for activities towards cash prizes for the top three schools. 

According to Marion Doyle, education director at WinterKids’, the program was recently adapted to be less competitive and more inclusive. “Our program accommodates students learning in school or learning remotely at home. It is easy for teachers, families, and parents who are now part-time teachers to get their kids outside to move and learn,” she said.

Winter Games activities align closely with Let’s Go!, a nationally-recognized childhood obesity prevention program adopted by local schools in partnership with Memorial Hospital where teachers, students, and parents are collectively involved in learning about nutrition and getting kids active outside in a safe manner. The local Let’s Go! program is also coordinated through Memorial Hospital’s Population Health Department. Memorial Hospital organized their Population Health Department in 2015, in partnership with MaineHealth, in an effort to help the Mt. Washington Valley to become one of the healthiest communities in America.

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About Memorial Hospital
Memorial Hospital is a not-for-profit 25-bed Critical Access Hospital located in North Conway, NH, and is a member of the MaineHealth family. Its hospital services include a 24-hour emergency department, surgery center, clinical laboratory, heart health & wellness programs, imaging services, cardiopulmonary care, family birthing center, oncology, chemotherapy and infusion services. Practices include primary care and family medicine, diabetes care, behavioral health, women's health, podiatry, orthopedics and physical therapy. Memorial Hospital is also home to The Merriman House nursing home, which provides senior care services in a comfortable, home-like setting. For more information, www.memorialhospitalnh.org  or call 603-356-5461.

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