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Tuscarawas County students answer snow day challenge

| January 25, 2022
Port Washington Elementary School kindergartener Riley Morrison shovels snow. (Courtesy of Indian Valley Local Schools)

GNADENHUTTEN (WJER) (January 25, 2022) – School districts across Tuscarawas County have used recent snow days to inspire students to do something good for their neighbors.

Newcomerstown, Claymont, Indian Valley and others challenged kids to shovel snow, make someone a card or play with younger kids. Students are sending in pictures of their good deeds.

Most districts are having drawings to reward some lucky do-gooder, but Indian Valley Superintendent Ira Wentworth says that’s not what it’s about.

“Let’s have a little fun with this along the way,” he said. “The main thing is to be a good neighbor and to be a good citizen.”

Wentworth says 285 students have responded in his district.

“Think about that in a community our size,” he said. “There’s 6,000-some registered voters in the Indian Valley School District. Well, we have 285 kids out there helping clear snow. We see that as a tremendous blessing.”

Wentworth credits Newcomerstown officials for starting the initiative.

“We thought if we could be part of a larger effort countywide, collectively, all eight school public school districts can make a difference in our community,” he said.

“All that credit goes to our high school principal, Mr. [Josh] Branch,” said Newcomerstown Superintendent Jason Peoples, pointing back to one of the first snow days in January when Branch issued a challenge to high school and middle school students to get out in their neighborhoods and shovel. “He’s the one who came up with that idea and got it started, and it really took off.”

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