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Greenville team takes first place in creativity challenge

    ORONO — “How am I going to get these kids to Knoxville?,” is what manager Sarah Stern thought to herself as it was announced that the Greenville Recreation Department’s Destination Imagination team had won an elementary-level first place title during the statewide competition on April 6 at the University of Maine. The win gives Greenville a chance to compete in the Global Finals May 22-25 in Knoxville, Tenn.

lo-DI-dcX-po-16Photo courtesy of Sarah Stern

KNOXVILLE-BOUND — The Greenville Recreation Department’s Destination Imagination team came in first place in the elementary division at the state competition April 6 at the University of Maine in Orono. The team now will be heading to the Global Finals next month in Knoxville. Tenn. Team members are, from left, Lily Kreider, Billy Stern, Andrew Pierce, manager Sarah Stern, Aubrey Kronholm and Lila Kronholm.

    “This was totally unexpected,” Stern said. “Usually the winning teams come from communities where they’ve got a lot more experience with this program.”
    Greenville has only been participating in Destination Imagination for a few years. This is Stern’s first year as team manager, but “the kids really did a great job, that’s what really got us there.”
    Destination Imagination is an educational program that requires participants to pick from a variety of challenges and to come up with a solution — without interference or suggestions from coaches, teachers or parents. “I am there to teach them new skills, but I can’t help them with the solution to the problem,” Stern said. 
    The team, which includes Greenville Elementary School students Aubrey Kronholm, 10, Andrew Pierce, 10, Lila Kronholm, 9, Billy Stern, 8, and Lily Kreider, 7, chose a challenge called “Wind Visible” which required the team to write a play centered around a piece of wind-powered kinetic art and featuring an invisible character. The Greenville team’s play “Super-Awesome Wind-Spike Trio” stars Aubrey Kronholm, Pierce and Stern as a trio of superheroes sent to do battle against Super Invisible Man, who kidnaps singers Rosetta and Jennifer, played by Kreider and Lila Kronholm, and hid them inside a wind-powered volcano. 
    During competition, teams also have to complete in an on-the-spot “Instant Challenge” where they are given a task to complete as a team. The exact task is a closely guarded secret. “I can’t tell you what it was until after the Global Finals” Stern said. “Otherwise our team could get disqualified.” 
    Both the play and the Instant Challenge are performed in front of a panel of judges who score teams based on creativity, teamwork, innovative use of materials and adherence to the theme.
    Now that the Greenville team knows that it’s headed to competition in Knoxville, the challenge will be getting there. Stern says that the team needs to raise approximately $7,000 to cover the cost of entering the competition and to pay for food, transportation and lodging for the team and chaperones. “It’s going to be a lot of hard work to come up with the money on such short notice” Stern lamented, “But we are fortunate to live in a generous community that really cares about its kids” she added.
    The Greenville Recreation Department’s Destination Imagination team has donation jars at numerous businesses around town. It’s also holding a 50-50 ice-out raffle, bottle drives and a fundraising dinner and auction May 5 at the Greenville Consolidated School. “Every little bit helps” Stern added.
    If you are interested in helping, or for more information on Destination Imagination, contact the Greenville Recreation Department at 695-2421 or Stern at 534-7229.

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