Below is a letter from our Destination Imagination leaders explaining this amazing program.
My name is Marty VanWesten, and I, along with Stephanie McInturf, brought Destination Imagination to the students of Centura Public Schools during this school year. Destination Imagination is a program designed to help teams of students improve their creative and critical thinking skills, improve their ability to work in a team situation, and to learn how to solve unique problems, which are skills that employers are looking for in their work force. Teams select one of 6 Challenges with a various focus: Technical Engineering, Scientific principles, the Fine Arts, Improvisation, Structural Engineering, and Service Learning. Teams compete at regional and state competitions, culminating at Destination Imagination Global Finals, held this year at Knoxville, TN from May 20-23.
While our initial expectations were a small number of teams interested, we instead had a large explosion of interest, with over 70 students initially signing up, allowing us to form 12 teams. When we got to the competition time, we had 8 teams compete at both the regional and state tournaments, with over 50 students participating, while also getting the help of 14 other adults to be Team Managers and Appraisers. We have also had a large amount of support from the parents of these students, who have travelled with them, fed them, and helped buy supplies to allow their students to be the most successful that they could be.
At the Affiliate Finals tournament on Saturday, April 11th, all of our teams performed their best, and we are very fortunate to have 3 teams qualify for Global Finals. These teams include: a Scientific Challenge team consisting of a group of 6th grade girls; a Fine Arts team that includes students in 5th, 7th, and 8th grade, and a Structural Challenge team that includes Sophomores and Freshmen. These teams have the opportunity to compete against students from around the nation and the world, and I would like to help them achieve this goal.
In order to send these teams to Global Finals, we have a great financial burden ahead of us. When we started this program, we were not given a budget in order to pay for registration, fees, and materials, and all of the monies we used during the last few months have come from the parents and participants themselves. Now, we are needing to raise approximately $20,000 in order to pay for Global Finals registration and transportation for 20 students and their 3 Team Managers so that our students have the opportunity to experience something truly amazing, as well as allowing us to give Centura Public Schools a positive image on a national and global level. Many of our students are going to have great difficulty in affording Global Finals, and we need to raise this money so that every student has a chance to participate.
With your support and assistance, we can provide our students with a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will stick with them throughout their entire lives. Any amount that you can provide to us will go a long way to helping these students out, and I know that we will be very grateful for your assistance. Thank you for considering helping our Centura students achieve something truly amazing!
To donate to this amazing group of kids please visit their donation page.