Ithaca is rolling out the red carpet to help educators beat the winter blues the week of Feb. 16-23. "Winter Recess" is the nation's first citywide festival for educators.
Ithaca and Tompkins County, home of Cornell University, Ithaca College and Tompkins-Cortland Community College, offer educators a discounted week of recreation, relaxation and professional development.
Opportunities include indoor activities such as hotel and restaurant discounts, plays, concerts, winery tours and brisk outdoor fun in the area's rural beauty. As the bumper sticker says, "Ithaca is Gorges."
More than 1,300 educators took advantage of the initial program in central New York's cultural and educational hub last February, and more are expected this year.
"Our city is not only centrally located — it's centrally enlightened," said Susan Mittler, president of the Ithaca Teachers Association. "Besides our beautiful natural diversity, we have a wonderful array of nationalities, ethnicities and people from the 50 states, and they're all parts of a high-functioning community."
Mittler noted that visitors will have access to resources like the Cornell University library and a variety of speakers.
For information about the festival, go to http://www.ithacalovesteachers.com/.