The Great Prairie Race is a brand new event hosted by Northern Lights Movement for Kids. The Race is an invitation to schools to help kids shake off the winter doldrums by moving any way they want. 

“They can go outside or inside and keep track of their distance,” explains Celeste Leray-Leicht who initiated both the Northern Lights Movement for Kids and the Race. “Students at our school (St. Dominic School in Humboldt) are logging their distance and snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and walking outside. We have a one-kilometre track mapped out in our schoolyard. On cold days, we’ve calculated the distance to walk around our gym. It’s all to encourage fitness and healthy lifestyles.”

Schools can register via the Northern Lights Movement for Kids webpage. The Movement is all about fostering healthy and active youth and to help build bridges for Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth in the process. The family founded venture also honours the late Jacob Leicht. Schools who register will have opportunities for kids to connect and share more about themselves, the Race activities and their cultures. 

“Schools who have registered are invited to join us in a virtual meet to share a bit about their school community on the last day of February. They’ll celebrate their success and see how many kilometres in distance we can accumulate by the end of the month.”

In 2021, eleven schools from across the province joined in the Great Prairie Race and they cumulatively travelled over 15,000 kilometres. Their first year was a bit of an experiment, says Leray-Leicht, and through their virtual meeting came lots of positive feedback and plenty of happy faces. 

“This year, we’ve invited schools from Alberta and Manitoba to join in, hence the Great Prairie Race.”

Teachers can register individual classes or entire schools can register, says Leray-Leicht. It doesn’t matter how far the kids walk - it’s all a collective contribution toward connection and healthy living.