The Snowball Effect: WinterKids in the Community 

The Snowball Effect: WinterKids In the Community

In addition to reaching over 45,000 kids and teachers each year, WinterKids offers financial support to schools, families, and communities to help them further increase outdoor physical activity and healthy habits in the winter months.

Over the past seven years, WinterKids has provided over $350,000 in funding to help get more kids outside and active across Maine. Incredible!

YOU create the Snowball Effect. To help support our outdoor programs for kids, please help us reach our annual WinterKids Fund goal by donating today at WinterKids.org/Donate!


SCHOOLS

WinterKids Winter Games 2020 Logo

The WinterKids Winter Games is a 4-week physical activity and nutrition challenge for Maine elementary schools. In five years, WinterKids has granted over $50,000 to winning schools to help make their schools healthier.  

Here is what some of our Winter Games winners say about the Winter Games and how they used their prize money: 

Jonesport Elementary School, Washington County 

“We bought an apple cider press and sleds.  We are planning on purchasing maple tree taps, ice skates & helmets, fixing up our trail to include a story walk, and possibly fixing our school garden.  One special thing we plan to purchase is a bench in honor of a husband and wife that supported our efforts.  This bench will be placed at the town skating pond.”  

Rubric Week 1 support Jonesport Elementary WinterKids Winter Games 2022 2
Photo courtesy of Jonesport Elementary
Rubric Week 4 support HB Emery WinterKids Winter Games 2022 2
Photo courtesy of HB Emery Jr Memorial School

HB Emery School, Limington, York County 

“We have a playground designer here to outline and design equipment for balancing our playground.”   

Leroy H. Smith School, Winterport, Waldo County 

“We are using our funding for a book vending machine, support getting a food corps person on board, and playground equipment.” 

Mast Landing School, Freeport, Cumberland County 

“We are using our funds for a winter outdoor day at Lost Valley. We will also use part of the funds to purchase spikes for our students to use on our winter hikes to travel the trails safely. ” 

Rubric Week 4 support Mast Landing School WinterKids Winter Games 2022
Photo courtesy of Mast Landing School
Rubric Week 3 support Harrison Elementary School WinterKids Winter Games 2022
Photo courtesy of Harrison Elementary

Harrison Elementary School, Cumberland County

“We plan to replenish our winter playground equipment – sleds, saucers, and potentially some snow fort-building tools. We will use any remaining funds to purchase hats, mittens, or other winter gear that students might need. Thank you, WinterKids Sponsors, for supporting an amazing program that encourages our students and staff not only to get outside but to collaborate as a school community!”

Pine Street Elementary School, Presque Isle, Aroostook County  

“We are buying snowshoes and other winter outdoor gear for our students to use at recess and during PE classes.”

Prescott Memorial School, Washington, Knox County 

“The WinterKids Winter Games created a positive and enthusiastic spirit within our school community.  It has been one of the most memorable events in our school’s recent history and one that everyone is proud to share when we mention the accomplishments of our small school. ” 

Prescott Elementary Winter Games 2020 0008
Photo courtesy of Prescott Memorial School
Rubric Week 4 support East Range II WinterKids Winter Games 2022
Photo courtesy of East Range II School

East Range II School, Topsfield, Washington County

“We are purchasing outdoor recess equipment such as a basketball hoop, different types of games, a 4 square portable outline and many more fun outdoor games.”

Cherryfield Elementary School, Washington County 

“We are buying snowshoes for our students to use in PE classes.”

Woodland Elementary School, Baileyville, Washington County

“We are piloting an Outdoor Adventure Club with our funds for after school this year!” 

Rubric Week 3 support Woodland Elementary School WinterKids Winter Games 2022 3
Photo courtesy of Woodland Elementary School
3 1 Photo of the week Woodland Consolidated School WinterKids Winter Games 2022
Photo courtesy of Woodland Consolidated School

Woodland Consolidated School, Woodland, Aroostook County

“We will use the prize money to buy materials and have one of the employees, Bob the Builder, make us a Ga Ga Ball Pit! We are greatly looking forward to this year’s competition!”

Rangeley Lake Regional School, Franklin County

“We are taking a trip to the Maine Huts and Trails and planning a dog sledding experience.  We will also be having a few nutrition and health trips and speakers.  So excited for the 2023 year!”

Cave Hill School, Eastbrook, Hancock County

“We ordered new PE material (volleyballs, baseballs, dodgeball set, snowshoes) and also organized our Bike Fun annual event and the school Field Day where we bought t-shirts, dye material, and more specific equipment to make a great celebration in our community.” 

3 1 Photo of the week Cave Hill School WinterKids Winter Games 2022
Photo courtesy of Cave Hill School
Rubric Week 4 support Elm Street School WinterKids Winter Games 2022 1 2
Photo courtesy of Elm Street School

Elm Street School, Mechanic Falls, Androscoggin County

“We used the WinterKids prize money to add a basketball hoop in our playground area for students to enjoy.  We were also able to use part of the prize money towards a tarred surface for students to play games in our upper playground area.  We’d like to give a huge shout-out to WinterKids and all of the sponsors and donors who make opportunities possible for schools like ours who couldn’t afford these projects otherwise!”

To hear even more about how the Winter Games impacted Maine schools in 2022, check out the video below, recapping our 5th Annual WinterKids Winter Games!

For more information on the Winter Games, visit winterkids.org/winter-games/.


FAMILIES

WinterKids App Logo 1

The first WinterKids Photo Contest was a huge success! We received dozens of amazing photos from all over Maine. WinterKids provided a $500 prize to three recreational areas with the most photo uploads to grow or support kids programming at each location.

recreational Area organization Winners!  

Alpine Ski Winner – Mt. Abram Ski & Bike Park in Greenwood, ME 

The Mt. Abram Ski Club is a non-profit group working to increase educational and recreational opportunities for kids in SAD44. They provide financial support for young skiers and snowboarders to participate in winter recreation. WinterKids is proud to support Mt. Abram and the Mt. Abram Ski Club with the prize. You can learn more about the Mt. Abram Ski Club, including how to qualify for financial support CLICK HERE or watch THIS VIDEO

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Alpine Ski Winner – Mt. Abram Ski & Bike Park in Greenwood, ME

The Mt. Abram Ski Club is a non-profit group working to increase educational and recreational opportunities for kids in SAD44. They provide financial support for young skiers and snowboarders to participate in winter recreation. WinterKids is proud to support Mt. Abram and the Mt. Abram Ski Club with the prize. You can learn more about the Mt. Abram Ski Club, including how to qualify for financial support CLICK HERE or watch THIS VIDEO

 

208b Mt Abram Ski Club D24 ODFund Application FY23
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Cross Country Ski Winner – Carter’s XC Ski Center in Bethel, ME 

Carter’s Cross Country Ski Center is a family-owned and operated area with miles of trails for XC skiing, snowshoeing, and fat tire biking. Carter’s provides opportunities for kids to learn, play and grow through outdoor recreation. The $500 prize will go towards free community ski days for kids from SAD #17 and #44. Free trail passes for all kids from these school districts on four different trips in conjunction with the Bethel Outing Club. Click HERE to learn more about Carter’s XC Ski Center.   

 

Carters XC in Bethel
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Ice Skate Winner – William Troubh Ice Arena in Portland, ME 

William Troubh Ice Arena offers learn-to-skate programs year-round that help get kids on the ice and help them learn to skate so they can enjoy this activity for the rest of their lives. This $500 grant will allow William Troubh to provide free skate rentals to new skaters who are just learning. You can learn more about William Troubh and their learn-to-skate programs HERE

WB Troubh Ice Arena 01

family Winners!  

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Laurie ThebergeAlpine-winning family. Season passes to Sunday River. 

“[WinterKids] has made this sport so much more affordable and fun for my family and our friends’ families. We appreciate all your hard work and dedication that you put into this… 

Family is everything to me, and having these adventures to look forward to and making these memories together means so much more than you know! Thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart!”

 

Downhill Black Mountain Laurie Theberge 1
ski 250

Deep AcharyaCross-country winning family. Season passes to Quarry Road Trails. 

“I cannot say enough positive things about what you all are doing at the WinterKids… We will look forward to the coming season to be members again and ski with everyone.”

 

XC Quarry Road Trails Deep Acharya 1
skate 250

Margaux Poplaski – Ice Skating contest winner. Ice skating passes to Penobscot Arena.  

“We just found the WinterKids App this last year, which was awesome! We got to experience new locations to skate and ski that we wouldn’t have otherwise tried. It also helped us as a family to be outside and enjoy the winter more this year, to recreate, and most of all, to have fun!” 

Skate LLBean Margaux Poplaski 1

communities

D24 Logo

The WinterKids Downhill 24 at Sugarloaf names secondary beneficiaries to our event each year to help get kids outside more often in the Carrabassett Valley community.

We have gifted over $150,000 to the following organizations:

WinterKids Downhill 24 Beneficiaries  

“At Kingfield Elementary School, our school district budget doesn’t allow for extras, such as winter sports gear, special materials for outdoor learning, field trips, or school garden program expenses. As a result, staff work above and beyond to write grants and fundraise for these extras to give students the best possible learning experiences despite the lack of resources available in our rural community. WinterKids has supported our efforts often during the past decade, and we are forever grateful!”

Listen in, and learn more about how Downhill 24 funds have helped the Sugarloaf Ski Club and Kingfield Elementary School in this Downhill 24 podcast episode, “Giving Back to the Carrabassett Valley Community.”

D24 outdoor fund logo green

In honor of the 10th anniversary of the Downhill 24, WinterKids created the Downhill 24 Outdoor Fund to help address the barriers to outdoor activity with funding for transportation, equipment, clothing, and more!

For the inaugural year of the WinterKids Downhill 24 Outdoor Fund, WinterKids granted $25,000 to 4 organizations to help get kids outside and active more often. These winning schools were determined by community vote:

Snowflake D24 FUND DARK BLUE

$10,000 Grant Winner

370b Noble Middle School D24 ODFund Application FY23

Noble Middle School

Location: Berwick, ME (York County)

Organization Type: Maine public school

Noble Middle School’s Physical Education Program plans to use these funds to:

  • Renovate an on-campus pond as a recreation center for PE classes
  • Acquire the equipment needed for kayaking, canoeing, and fishing
  • Make improvements to an on-campus trail for better access to hiking, snowshoeing, and XC skiing
  • Renovate 3 tennis courts at Noble Middle School (the only courts in their school district), and acquire all necessary equipment to utilize the courts for PE. They also eventually plan to introduce the sport at the middle and high school levels.
Snowflake D24 FUND DARK BLUE

$5,000 Grant Winner

548b Bruce M Whittier Middle School D24 ODFund Application FY23

Bruce M. Whittier Middle School

Location: Poland, ME (Androscoggin County)

Organization Type: Maine public school

Bruce M. Whittier Middle School plans to use these funds to:

  • Purchase a fleet of snowshoes that will allow their students to get outside and active, exploring acres of open space surrounding the school during the winter months.
  • Support the continued success of Whittier Run Program events
Snowflake D24 FUND DARK BLUE

$5,000 Grant Winner

707b Auburn Middle School D24 ODFund Application FY23

Auburn Middle School

Location: Auburn, ME (Androscoggin County)

Organization Type: Maine public school

Auburn Middle School plans to use these funds to:

  • Maintain a trail system situated directly behind the school to keep them safe for student use/access.
  • Build a storage shed to properly store bikes and equipment
  • Acquire XC Skis and Snowshoes for winter trail use
Snowflake D24 FUND DARK BLUE

$5,000 Grant Winner

881b Mount Abram Regional High School D24 ODFund Application FY23

Mount Abram Regional High School

Location: Salem Township, ME (Franklin County)

Organization Type: Maine public school

Mount Abram Regional High School plans to use these funds to:

  • Expand opportunities for students to get outside for winter camping, survival skills, and map/compass work.
  • Acquire gear to adequately equip students for winter outings

Honorable Mentions!

The following organizations will receive $500 honorable mention awards for receiving top votes in their categories of schools, recreation departments, and community nonprofits:

Memorial Middle School

Organization Type: Maine public school

Location: South Portland, ME (Cumberland County)

935b Memorial Middle School D24 ODFund Application FY23

Bangor Parks & Rec

Organization Type: Parks & Recreation Department

Location: Bangor, ME (Penobscot County)

274b City of Bangor Parks Rec D24 ODFund Application FY23

Alfond Youth & Community Center

Organization Type: Maine 501(c)(3)

Location: Waterville, ME (Kennebec County)

542b Alfond Youth Community Center D24 ODFund Application FY23

Peisner Nordic Fund 

Our Michael & Barbara Peisner Nordic Fund has granted $25,000 in the last five years to Portland Nordic and Oxford Hills to get more kids on cross-country skis through rental fees, equipment, and winter learn-to-ski programs. 

YOU create the Snowball Effect!

To help support our outdoor programs for kids, please donate to our WinterKids Fund today…

 

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