While the recent frigid temperatures mean many people are glad to be inside, one Saskatoon elementary school student wants to enjoy the cold.
But she can’t. For now, that is.
Kira Mathies, 9, has been stuck indoors during recess like most other students during the cold snap. Policy at Lakeridge School is to keep children indoors when windchills drop below -27 C.
When she was in Grade 1, however, children who signed up for the “polar bear club” were still able to bundle up and enjoy the outdoors.
“Who doesn’t like snow?” she asked. “If you’re dressed warmly enough, you can go anywhere.”
The club involves students getting permission from their parents to go outside when the school has declared an indoor recess due to frigid temperatures. The kids are allowed to come back inside if they get too cold but then have to stay inside.
Mathies wants the program back at Lakeridge, so she started a petition on Thursday to convince the school to let them back outside.
“I explained what it is (to the other kids), and asked them if they wanted to be part of it,” she said.
“A lot of kids said yes in my class.”
In just one day of approaching two classrooms, the Grade 4 student collected 24 signatures from her fellow students.
Her mother, Shiela, helped come up with the idea — and watched it evolve.
“I posed the option she had, and she really took it and ran with it,” Shiela said.
“I think it’s great, we walk to school. They’re bundled up, it’s fun to be outside.”
She added it relieves some stress from teachers when the kids are able to get outside, so the polar bear club would benefit many at the school.
Saskatoon Public School Division told 650 CKOM guidelines are being provided to individual schools for polar bear clubs which include staff supervision and parental approval.
The school division currently restricts outdoor recess when the temperature with the wind chill is -27 C.