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March 22, 2021: Moses DeWitt students look forward to ‘snowball’ tradition

Teacher standing holding a book up for the class to see.
Teacher Jodi Schwedes holds a book up so the in-person students can see the pages.

As the weather turns colder and snow starts to fall, Moses DeWitt Elementary School students look forward to an annual school tradition: getting snowballed. 

It’s not what you may be thinking. Classes that are “snowballed” receive a surprise visit from Chilly, a stuffed snowman, who is passed from classroom-to-classroom bringing with him a book to be read aloud. After returning the book to the school library, each class then selects a new book and picks the next class for Chilly to surprise.  

“It really gets the kids excited to read,” said third-grade teacher Jodi Schwedes, whose class was recently snowballed. “Kids love a surprise.”

Schwedes said the students eagerly anticipate the arrival of Chilly, who typically starts visiting classrooms in December and spends a few days in each room until each classroom has been visited. The tradition grew from the school’s character education and literacy committees about three years ago. 

“This fun reading activity promotes the love of reading while providing an opportunity for each class to share a good book with another class at Moses,” said Moses DeWitt Principal Mary Sylvester.  

You’ve been snowballed!

It’s a snowball fight, 

And you’ve all been invited;

Be happy! Be glad!

Chilly the stuffed snowman rests on a counter with a folder next to him with a snowman image and the words We've been snowballed on the cover..
Chilly the stuffed snowman rests on a classroom counter. 

I know you’re excited!

My name is Chilly;

I’m here for a very special


Hooray for December!

It’s a holiday season!


You’ve been hit with a 


In the form of a book;

Sit back and relax

And then take a look!


Our class chose this story

For your class to enjoy;

I’m sure it’ll be loved

By each girl and each boy.


Teacher standing holding a book facing the whiteboard so the students at home can see the pages.
Teacher Jodi Schwedes holds a book up so students learning from home can see the pages.

Then, return this book to the


And choose something new!

I’ll bring this new book with me

To the next unsuspecting crew. 


That’s how you play!

Your book is your snowball!

“Throw” yours upstairs or 


Or right down the hall.


Before I take off, 

Cross your name off my list.

This is to be sure that 

No classroom is missed!


Take a group picture with me, 

Then hang it on your door!

This will show others, 

I’ve been here before!




Dr. Peter Smith, Superintendent

P.O. Box 606
DeWitt, NY 13214

Phone: (315) 445-8300

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