Ikidarod races serve as learning tool for students at NSCS
By: Lake County News-Chronicle, Lake County News Chronicle
Parents, instructors and students bundled up in their mukluks and winter parkas last Friday to watch the Ikidarod races at North Shore Community School. At an estimated quarter-mile long, the race is considerably shorter than its namesake, the infamous 1,000-mile Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Alaska. Instead of dogs, warmly-dressed second graders line up at the starting line on all fours, pawing the snow and doing their best imitations of barking huskies.
The race is the culmination of a unit on teamwork and compromise, explained second-grade teacher Dayna Phelps. The kids, six to a team, grip a long blue rope tightly in sled dog formation. One student acts as the lead dog and another rides in a sled behind the team, acting as a musher. The students rotate positions at every checkpoint, where they also receive some canine treatment, such as Scooby Snacks at or a veterinarian check.
Phelps said Anne Wiszowaty, her fellow second-grade teacher, came up with the idea six years ago, and the two second-grade classes have been participating in the Ikidarod ever since.
Photos by LaReesa Sandretsky