PELHAM, N.Y. -- Though children love snow days, Pelham Superintendent Peter Giarrizzo knows the consequence of lost time in the classroom.
Facing the third snow day of the season on Monday, Feb. 3, Giarrizzo took to Twitter in hopes of inspiring some of the district's students to keep their brains going with his "Snow Day Challenges."
Giarrizzo said he thought of the challenges while brainstorming ways to get students involved in something creative and fun that wouldn't involve a lot of supervision by parents who might be working from home.
At the same time, he wanted something that could provide an opportunity for parents to play with their children or for siblings to work together.
"In my opinion, anything I can do to stimulate something productive and creative for students to do is time well spent," he said.
While the challenges aren't mandatory, the first challenge, themed around Legos, brought in an unexpected number of participants.
"I put the thing out there with a deadline of 8 p.m. on Monday," he said. "I hadn't seen much over the course of the day, so I thought it may not get any traction. By the end of the day, parents were tweeting pictures of the most amazing Lego designs. I received 7 of them and was so excited that students took part in the challenge."
The second challenge? A list of reasons to love Pelham.
"I set this one up so students could be more flexible in their presentations about the things they love about Pelham," he said. "We'll see where it goes."
With more snow on the way, it looks like Giarrizzo might have to keep the challenges coming. The district has used four out of its five allotted snow days.
If they exceed the five, they have a plan to make up additional days beginning with May 23. They will then use days in the April break, if needed.
"Let's hope we don't need to go there," he said. "As much as I enjoy these challenges, I enjoy having our students in school even more."