The fifth annual WinterKids Winter Games are scheduled to begin in the new year, with 22 schools competing statewide to win a total of $50,000 for their schools.

The Winter Games is a four-week series of challenges in outdoor physical activity, nutrition, family engagement and winter carnival starting Jan. 17, 2022 and ending Feb. 11.

This is also an Olympic Winter Games year. The first WinterKids Winter Games began in conjunction with the 2018 Olympic Winter Games.

Participants, listed by county, school and town, are as follows:

• Androscoggin, Elm Street School, Mechanic Falls;

• Aroostook, Woodland Consolidated School, Woodland;

• Aroostook, Pine Street Elementary School, Presque Isle;

• Aroostook, Southern Aroostook Community School, Dyer Brook;

• Cumberland, Mast Landing School, Freeport;

• Cumberland, Harrison Elementary School, Harrison;

• Franklin, Rangeley Lakes Regional School, Rangeley;

• Hancock, Cave Hill School, Eastbrook;

• Kennebec, Helen Thompson School, West Gardiner;

• Knox, Matinicus Island School, Matincus;

• Knox, Union Elementary School, Union;

• Penobscot, Ella P. Burr School, Lincoln;

• Penobscot, Patricia A Duran School, Hermon;

• Sagadahoc, West Bath School, West Bath;

• Somerset, Carrabec Community School, North Anson;

• Somerset, Moscow Elementary School, Moscow;

• Waldo, Leroy H. Smith School, Winterport;

• Washington, Jonesport Elementary School, Jonesport;

• Washington, Cherryfield Elementary School, Cherryfield;

• Washington, East Range II School, Topsfield;

• Washington, Woodland Elementary School, Baileyville; and

• York, H.B. Emery Jr. Memorial School, Limington.

The winning school will receive $10,000, second place will receive $7,500, and third place will receive $5,000 in school-wide prize ceremonies. All competitive schools will receive a cash prize based on how they finish.

During the last school year, WinterKids offered an adapted, play-along version of the Winter Games to accommodate remote and hybrid learners. This model was so popular, the organization is offering it again this year.

All told, 4,000 children and 340 teachers will participate in the competitive track of the Winter Games for a chance to win cash, while an additional 6,000 students and 100 teachers will play along and receive incentives and a chance to win weekly prizes.

“We are thrilled to offer a fun, active way to engage all kids in outdoor learning throughout the winter,” said Julie Mulkern, WinterKids executive director, in a news release. “This year, the Winter Games is focused on the Olympic Winter Games within the context of celebrating winter through outdoor physical activity, nutrition, family engagement and winter carnivals.”

Embracing outdoor learning helps to counteract the negative effects of excessive screen time, particularly for those in elementary school. WinterKids provides resources for both teachers and parents to get their kids outside and active.

There also is a WinterKids Winter Games Facebook group for resource sharing, and downloadable activities at winterkids.org.