Central Ohio set a record of 10 days straight of below-freezing temperatures resulting in school closings reaching an all-time high. But Rose, Hunter and Lauren Adamson aren’t complaining. Their father, Jim, took them and four other children part of the Snow Bunnies group sledding at Sycamore Park in Pickerington.
Snow Bunnies is a group of 10 families in Pataskala, Ohio, that formed in 2004 to resolve the question ‘What do we do with the kids?’ Whenever Southwest Licking Local Schools declares a delayed start or snow day, at least two parents from the group take a day off from work to stay home and participate in snow-related activities, including sledding, snow ball fights and indoor play.
“We don’t want to leave our children at home alone,” said Betty Dodgkinson, a founding member of Snow Bunnies. “Sometimes we don’t have enough time to make last-minute arrangements for the kids and we were all really close. That’s why we started Snow Bunnies.”
At that time, Dodgkinson, along with Alaina Zewlewsky and Emily Jones were the only participating families. Word of the group spread and before long, the trio was asked to expand their circle.
“So many parents wanted to be part of Snow Bunnies the following year,” Zewlewsky said. “We went from our seven kids to 18 in one year. And it’s no walk in the park keeping an eye on 18 kids. Trust me.”
To streamline the process, Snow Bunnies founders created an online scheduling and alert system at www.snowbunniesinohio.com and before long had all parents volunteering to plan activities for the students when schools were closed.
“It’s not fair for the same parents to sacrifice vacation or personal days to stay home when school’s out,” said Dodgkinson. “We require everyone to be available and if not, they have to make other arrangements for their children.”
Fortunately, no one has been dismissed from the group.
In the coming year, Snow Bunnies plans to meet with local PTO groups to introduce their concept to other communities.
“We don’t believe we’re the only ones out here doing this, but if so, we’d love to share our system with other interested parents,” said Zewlewsky. For more information about Snow Bunnies, visit www.snowbunniesinohio.com.