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McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS
  • Destination Imagination students to compete against the world

  • Four Eisenhower Elementary School fifth-graders will be improvising on a global scale at the end of May.
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  • Four Eisenhower Elementary School fifth-graders will be improvising on a global scale at the end of May.
    Katie Berg, Lexi Kynaston, Kassidy Beam and Libby Hodge, also known as “Happy Happy Happy,” will compete in the improvisation event at Destination Imagination’s global tournament May 21 through 25.
    Destination Imagination is a student-led problem-solving activity in which students work together to solve a challenge without adult input.
    The competition will be in Knoxville, tennessee, and feature between 18,000 and 20,000 students from around the world.
    “I think it’s amazing how many people do this,” Berg said. “There’s so many people at globals, and that’s only the first-place winners.”
    To qualify, the team had to place first at the state tournament in April. The team did so last year but was unable to come up with funds to attend the global tournament.
    The girls decided to spend the next year raising funds for a global trip. So far, they have raised $5,300 of the $7,500 they need.
    Fundraisers include selling hedge apples, candles and headbands. They will also have a garage sale from 8 a.m. to noon May 17 at 1370 N. Walnut St.
    “To have a group knowing it wasn’t a possibility last year to make that decision and be prepared, give up afternoons and weekends — it shows a lot of commitment and strength,” said Carmen Zeisler, the team’s coach.
    “Happy Happy Happy” practices three hours a week and has been together since third grade.
    “That’s when we picked teams,” Beam said. “We decided we wanted to be an all-girls team.”
    The team also took the Da Vinci creativity award at the state competition, which is the highest honor students can receive through Destination Imagination.
    “These girls have worked hard. We’re really proud of them,” Zeisler said.
    Team members said they’re looking forward to the events, but also the experience of being a part of something so big.
    “I want to see everything and experience so many people,” Kynaston said.
    Hodge said she’s looking forward to seeing just how big Destination Imagination is.
    “I think I’m just excited to see all the other teams and how many people do DI,” she said.
    The girls said Destination Imagination has been a positive influence in their lives.
    “It’s helped me be a better person with teamwork and figuring out what to do,” Kynaston said.
    Zeisler said it’s helped her, too.
    “It helps me be a better teacher,” Zeisler said. “We want to do things for our kids, and in DI, it’s all them. It’s OK not to have everything OK. That failure leads to success part is one of the most important things.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Those who want to donate to the team can send funds to Eisenhower Elementary PTO (301 E. Wickersham) with DI in the subject line.
    “I hope people try it,” Berg said. “It changes your life, and you have fun.”
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