Predictions for this winter are cold, cold, cold…so now is the time to think about assuring the children and teens are warm enough outside. Dressing in layers is essential. Think ahead to prepare. Put an extra pair of socks in the bottom of the backpack. These can double for gloves in a pinch. It’s no fun to be outside waiting for a bus or walking home and to be freezing in the cold.
Here’s what the 2013-2014 Farmers Almanac has to say:
For 2013–2014, we are forecasting a winter that will experience below average temperatures for about two-thirds of the nation. A large area of below-normal temperatures will predominate…from roughly east of the Continental Divide …north and east through New England.
With a combination of below-normal temperatures and above-normal precipitation the stage will be set for …Northern New England to receive lots of snow.
Did you know The Old Farmer's Almanac was first published in 1792 during George Washington's first term as president? People still rely on the Almanac’s weather advice, and the advice is to plan for a very cold winter.
Advice for dressing youth in layers can be found at www.eHow.com. In sum:
- Wear two to three layers covered by snow pants and a warm jacket.
- Over children’s undershirt, wear a turtleneck or long sleeve cotton shirt. Add a flannel shirt, sweater, sweatshirt or fleece jacket. Try to find snow pants or water resistant pants especially when playing in the snow.
- On the feet--wool socks. No wool socks?—put on two pair of socks. Insert each foot into fleece-lined or water proof/breathable fabric boots.
- Complete the top half with a hooded jacket—down-filled is very warm. If your child gets overheated, he/she can always remove a layer.
- Finish the warm dress with mittens or gloves and a hat. Anything waterproof will shed moisture, will prevent chills and avoid long drying times.
- Slather on sunscreen and put on shades. Even on cloudy days, rosy faces give way to snow burns.
- Put on similar attire and join your child for a brisk walk looking for animal tracks or turn shoveling into a game creating designs in the snow.
Greenfield’s prediction for education is that we will have a fine winter program, a wonderful choral concert in December with the Pioneer Valley Symphony, and a terrific academic season at all schools. Plan to make films for our April film festival during the winter months. The Greenfield Education Foundation has purchased movie screens for our three elementary schools and they will be having movie evenings to inspire our families.
Be careful on the roads and outdoors this winter. It is going to be a cold season--great for reading! This is the season to go to the library, take out a library card, and enjoy a good book! Greenfield has a wonderful public library—and there is no better way to improve reading and vocabulary than to read!
Susan Hollins, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools