Langley students get creative to fundraise for global competition

A foursome at Alex Hope Elementary plugged in their Destination Imagination computerized presentation at the regionals recently and the USB plug was broken.

Things only got worse from there. A door being used as a prop was too big to fit in the venue. The easel fell over and a picture frame broke.

But Anna Pyper, Zack Yasuda, Indiana Bateman and Adam Vandenberg (Team AZIA) stuck it out, improving their presentation on a card company for charity.

To be good sports, the Grade 6 students waited around a few hours to be at the awards ceremony.

“We thought ‘Oh, we sucked so bad’,” Indiana said.

But Destination Imagination isn’t about who’s perfect. It’s about who can think on their feet and be creative problem solvers.

So the Alex Hope students won and went to provincials April 11. They won again and earned the right to compete at the global competition in mid-May in Tennessee.

Now they and their families and their school have had to come up with some creative solutions to figure out how to get the team to globals, a $10,000 plus expense between flights, accommodation, prop transport and other costs for the four and their teacher, Nadean Vonk. The four moms are paying their own way there.

The families rallied and booked the most economical flights they could but the kids are hoping the community can help send them on the experience of a lifetime.

“It’s a great experience,” said Anna.

“We’ll probably never get another chance like it,” Indiana added.

“This is definitely a great opportunity,” Adam commented.

The DI Globals will bring together 18,000 from more than 16 countries to compete in creative problem solving challenges in different categories (science, technology, engineering, improvisation, theater arts, writing, project management, communication, innovation, community service and teamwork).

The students talked about what category the wanted to enter and decided to use Indiana’s hand-made cards for charity as a springboard. The cards help raise funds for art supplies for African children. (See the profile on her project Creativity inspires girl’s fundraising, Langley Advance, Jan. 27, 2015).

They entered the Service Learning Project Outreach BrandAid category (community service) in which students create a project or product around a non-profit. DI rules set out a whole set of requirements and components they must do as well as extra items, such as creating a jingle to promote the cause.

With each successive presentation, the four have received feedback from the judges and tweaked their offering. In fact after their harrowing regionals, they opened with a skit at provincials about their misadventures which went over well with the judges.

“It’s drastically different from regionals or provincials,” Zack explained.

He expects it will be mostly reworked for globals.

Anna said they will continue to because they will face off against the best in the world in Tennessee.

“The judging will probably be much harder,” she added.

The Alex Hope DI team trip is May 18 to 25.

The Tennessee event includes the competitions as well as workshops everyday, and inventive social activities like the duct tape ball, a southern soiree and more.

If anyone wants to help the kids, they can contact teacher Nadean Vonk at the school, 604-888-7109. Someone has made a $100 donation to the DI globals campaign. Donation can be dropped off at the school office.

Adam, the techie of the DI group, added that there’s crowdsourcing as well, naturally involving selling cards.

• Go Fund Me to pay for the Tennessee trip: http://www.gofundme.com/AZIAtoTennessee

• Indiegogo to purchase cards which help raise funds for art supplies for African children: http://igg.me/at/thirdworldcardco

The school parent advisory committee is providing T-shirts and pins for the students who will attend the pin trading fest.

The student council has said it will use some money from Freezie sales to help, and school supporter Brie Wamsley has rounded up a TV donation from Best Buy. It will be used to raise more money.

The DI kids will be at the school festival April 30 to fundraise as well and are booked to be at Willowbrook Shopping Centre for gift wrap duties to add to the tally.

Alex Hope DI

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