A team of Long Beach fifth graders that won first place at the regional Odyssey of the Mind competition earlier this year is now putting its collaborative and creative energy towards helping others. Seven students formed an Odyssey Angels group and took on a thoughtful endeavor.
The group is comprised of Sydney Bergstein (Lindell), Benjamin Levinson (West), Kate Ragona (East), Violet Richter (Lido), Jordan Soriano (East), Aaliyah Trichter (Lindell) and Sebastian Tricola (West). Although they cannot meet in person, the students connect remotely by baking cookies and making cards out of their individual homes. The items are delivered to the staff at St. Francis Hospital biweekly as a way to brighten the frontline workers’ days.
The students began this initiative entirely out of their own impetus to make a positive impact, with no prompting from their coaches Douglas MacConnell and Justin Sulsky. Benjamin and Sydney created a Google Slides presentation to get their teammates on board – a testament to their enthusiasm, and an example of an authentic, student-driven learning experience.
“This is just an example of LB kids going the extra mile on their own,” said Mr. Sulsky. “It was a great leadership opportunity for the kids about to enter middle school.”
Odyssey Angels is a program that challenges participants to use their unique creative problem-solving abilities to help an aspect of their community that would otherwise be overlooked. Anyone can participate, so long as at least one person in the group is on an Odyssey of the Mind team.
The St. Francis staff members, one of whom is a family friend of a participating student, have expressed great appreciation for this group’s kindness during these challenging times.