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MONTICELLO — There’s nothing quite like breaking out of the doldrums and building a snowman in the dead of winter.

During an eLearning day Feb. 1, some Twin Lakes students did exactly that — not for themselves, but for others as a chance to brighten their day.

Answering a social media call-out from Darla Houser, life enrichment director at White Oaks Health Campus in Monticello, Twin Lakes High School’s earth/space science teacher Jill Gilford gathered eight students — four from Meadowlawn Elementary and four more from her high school class — and ventured out into the white stuff that had fallen in droves several hours beforehand.

“We put out a call on Facebook to see if any students wanted to come and build snowmen for our residents since we knew school was cancelled,” Houser said. “Jill gave us a call and asked if she could bring some students to do that.”

Gilford offered the opportunity as a way to earn extra credit for the high school students. More importantly, it offered a chance for students to be more community-minded.

“It’s always very important for students to be a part of our community and spread kindness,” she said. “Building snowmen for the residents of White Oak was something fun my students could do together that would put a smile on the faces of the residents.”

High school students participating in the snowman building included Olivia Crawn, Karstin McCloskey, Aiden Totten, and Aiden Pruitt-Schwenk. Meadowlawn students who joined them included Gilford’s children, Quinn and Mae, along with their friends Brodie and Addie Swygman.

The students all built snowmen while Gilford (the teacher) build a snow rocket.

Gilford said it also gave students a chance to get away from computer screens and get active outdoors.

“It also helped bring some joy to the White Oak residents,” she said. “It’s a win-win for everyone.”

White Oak residents and staff also seemed to enjoy the activity.

“There was a lot of fun going on at White Oaks,” Houser said. “Our residents really enjoyed watching the kids build snowmen and just have fun in the all the white stuff.”

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