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Somers Destination Imagination Teams Advance To States

Three Somers teams are advancing to the state Destination Imagination Tournament on Saturday, April 13th in Endicott.
Three Somers teams are advancing to the state Destination Imagination Tournament on Saturday, April 13th in Endicott. Photo Credit: Courtesy Cheryl Riina

SOMERS, N.Y. – Three Somers teams had no problem showing what their imaginations could do and are set to advance to the State Destination Imagination tournament on Saturday, April 13, in Endicott .

A group of six Somers Intermediate students won first place in a Regional Destination Imagination Tournament on March 9 at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry. The Mysterious Masks team, with third-graders Jake Riina, Nathan Bellio, Dylan Faller, Michael Bookall, Julie Rios and Maeve Calder, have been working for months on their solution to one of the Destination Imagination challenges.

Jake Riina, 9, said he was excited to compete in the state tournament.

“I liked creating the sets and the props for our story,” Jake said Tuesday. “I also liked working with my friends to write the story itself. I was so happy with our story because it told a great lesson about courage, kindness and standing up for your friends. It showed how a kid could be a superhero in everyday life.”

Team manager and parent Cheryl Riina said the group is busy honing its skills, and they all hope to advance to the global tournament held in May at the University of Tennessee .

“We had a lot of fun over the past several months preparing for our In Disguise Challenge,” Riina said. “I am so proud of each member of the team. They worked hard, showed true creativity, and we were able to work on our team-building, problem-solving and communication skills throughout the entire process.”

The tournament offered students a unique opportunity not found in other programs for younger kids.

“So few programs today offer kids the opportunity to work on these skills, which are so important,” she said. “This program was new to all of us and we are so happy we went on the DI Adventure.”

Croton, Rye, Lakeland, Somers, Briarcliff Manor, Yorktown and several other Westchester communities are sending teams this year. Destination Imagination challenges require elementary, intermediate and high school students to use creative and critical thinking skills to solve a multitude of challenges.

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