Odyssey of the Mind teams make us all proud

Perhaps we have gotten to the point of taking the Indian River School District’s Odyssey of the Mind teams for granted.

This year, the district sent five teams to the state finals on March 23 at Smyrna High School. Two of those teams, the high school squad and one formed of elementary school students, qualified for the world championships May 22 to 25 at Michigan State University.

This is the fourth appearance in the world finals for IRSD’s Division III (high school) team, and the Division I team (elementary) just started its program this year.

“I’m really proud of both the teams that made it this year,” said Catina Goff, who co-coaches the high school team with Lisa Forney. “They worked very hard to get there. Even teams that didn’t make it did a great job.”

In a time when many complain that schools across the country only teach students to pass standardized tests, the success of the Indian River School District teams shows that our local schools are also teaching students to think on their own, and that the district has amazing coaches and volunteers with their Odyssey of the Mind teams. Their accomplishments should stand as something our entire community rallies around and takes pride in, and we need to support them the best we can.

“It’s of huge importance to us,” said Goff, describing the need for community support. “It’s huge that the community supports us, so they can get to the World Finals. It can cost up to $2,000 for travel, per student.”

In order to raise the funds necessary for the trip to the World Finals, the Odyssey of the Mind teams will be holding several fundraising efforts. A benefit pasta dinner is scheduled for Friday, April 19, in the Southern Delaware School of the Arts cafeteria. Meals are dine-in or carry-out, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Dinner is provided by Mac’s Catering, and includes pasta, marinara or meat sauce, salad, bread, dessert and beverages. The cost is $7 for adults and $5 for children 10 or younger. To purchase a ticket, contact a local Odyssey student or Goff at (302) 245-0491.

The teams also usually host a car wash and quarter auction later in the spring, and they will once again offer the “Load of Goodies” gift drawing, sponsored by local businesses.

We have seen “IR Pride” practiced by students, faculty and alumni of Indian River High School over the years, particularly when it comes to athletic teams competing in big games. Let’s see that pride carry over to thse young men and women on the Odyssey of the Mind teams, and show them what a community banded together can accomplish.

We are proud of the efforts and accomplishments of these students and coaches, and wish them luck in the future.