The bathrooms at Smith Elementary School in Delaware recently got a set of positive messages as part of Smith’s Destination Imagination team’s “Kindness Crusade.”
Mazie Fitzharris, a fifth-grader on the team, said Thursday during practice that the Smith DI team’s name is Kindness Crusaders, and the goal of the team is to “spread kindness” throughout the school.
“We want to make sure that everybody is being kind,” Fitzharris said.
Sammy Kollas, a fourth-grader, said the team made a few hundred dollars from a bake sale at First Friday and used the money to print out vinyl messages about kindness that they placed in the boys and girls bathrooms at Smith.
Carson Stroupe, a fifth-grader, said the team has also handed out kindness cards with kindness missions on them. The team said missions included returning a stranger’s shopping cart, shoveling a neighbor’s sidewalk, and writing “thank you” notes to firefighters.
Huxley Wright, a fifth-grader, added that as part of the team’s community service project, the team wrote a letter to the Delaware City Schools Facilities Department and asked for the faded and incorrect lines on the outdoor basketball court at Smith be repainted. Wright said after the basketball court is finished, the team is planning on adding positive messages to the court.
Fifth-grade student Maya Kasulis said the projects stemmed from a desire to leave Smith better than they found it before they head to Dempsey Middle School next year.
“We are leaving next year for Dempsey, and we wanted to do something they’d remember,” she said.
The team spent this week rehearsing and practicing for the upcoming regional Destination Imagination tournament in Circleville on March 2.
Fitzharris said that at the tournament, the team will participate in two challenges: an Instant Challenge where they have to come up with a skit on the spot and perform it or create something, and the Central Challenge, where they will perform a skit they wrote and produced beforehand.
“We’re competing to see who is the most imaginative, who is the most creative,” Kasulis said.
For their Central Challenge, the team wrote and stars in a skit about rescuing two extraterrestrial aliens trapped in the infamous Area 51 and teaching them to be kind. The team said it came up with the idea together, but it credited Wright and Stroupe, the resident alien/Bigfoot/ghost experts, with the Area 51 angle.
“They are all locked up, because there are aliens locked up in Area 51,” said fourth-grader Anna Kasulis said. “People think that aliens are bad, but we want to make you think that aliens can be good. Anybody can be kind.”
During the skit, Wright and Stroupe appropriately enough, play the green aliens and are rescued by the other five members of the team on the condition that they spread kindness back on Mars, their home planet. The team gives the aliens mustaches to fool the guards at Area 51, and the whole team makes its escape while Fitzharris plays the theme from “Mission Impossible” on her violin.
“I’m still always nervous, but I’m excited for the tournament,” Anna Kasulis said. “We’ve been working on it all year. Everyone gets excited about it.”
“It’s more fun than nerve-wracking,” added Kollas.
Stroupe said he joined the team this year but had no trouble getting in sync with the other members of the team.
“It wasn’t that bad to adapt to the way they are thinking,” Stroup said. “We had to start thinking like a group.”
“We’ve all gotten closer because of DI,” Maya Kasulis added.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.