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Students to let theirimaginations run wild

Amanda Holt MillerPost Independent Staff

A group of young Sutonho warriors are out to save the world from an evil prince Phebon. What they don’t know is that the usual laws of physics do not apply in the strange world of their mission.That is the premise for one Kid’s Rules Destination Imagination project. The regional DI tournament will take place this Saturday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Rifle High School. Ninety teams of students, from Ouray to the Wyoming border and from the Continental Divide to the Utah border, will come to Rifle for the competition.There are six different kinds of challenges students can elect to participate in, according to regional director Karren Valenteen, a preschool teacher at Roy Moore Elementary School. There are three levels of competition, elementary for those in third through fifth grades, middle for students in grades six through eight, and the high school level.The top three teams from each level of each challenge will go on to the state competition in Denver at the end of April. From there, teams proceed to the world competition in Tennessee.Ashton Dodero, Makayla McDonald, Eli Bontrager, Kaitlyn Maoley and Ali Carmitchel are all fifth-graders at Riverside Middle School. They have decided to accept a mission to perform an eight-minute skit of their own creation, but there are a few extra guidelines – they have to bend a rule of motion – that is, they have to include an object that moves without human intervention. They also have to make their own rule and follow it.”Eli wrote the script, but we made a lot of changes to it,” Carmitchel said. “I was messing around in class one day and I was imaging the Trojan horse,” Bontrager said. “I was in my own little world and I imagined jumping out and saying ‘Sooo-tan-Ho.'”Add to that, a carefully choreographed clog dance and short saxophone interlude and you have a all the required ingredients for a good Kid’s Rule challenge at the DI tournament.This group started working in February and they have gotten together twice a week to develop and practice their skit. The week before the big event, the group practiced every afternoon.Valenteen said 27 of the 90 registered teams are from Garfield School District Re-2. But there are no teams from schools east of New Castle or south of Glenwood Springs. “It’s my goal to get representatives from every school in the region,” Valenteen said. “We’re also trying to do some fundraising so we can give all of the teams that compete their own team shirts.”The performances this weekend are open to the public.


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