Everyone needs breakfast; everyone knows that.
It's one thing to nag people about it, but it's quite another for middle school students to create a program that feeds their classmates.
And then write and perform a rap about it.
The Gypsum Creek Middle School's Destination Imagination team did all that and more, earning a spot in next month's global championships in Knoxville, Tenn. Destination Imagination is a nonprofit that provides educational programs for students to learn creativity, teamwork and problem solving.
The Wolves in Black are seven sixth-graders who had the darndest idea.
Teams pick from a wide-ranging list of challenges, including buildings, structural problems, engineering, performance art - the list is exhaustive.
Vasquez' team opted for a community need and found a local way to solve their global challenge.
Some kids weren't eating breakfast and came to school hungry. That caused poor performance and behavior problems.
So, they spent three months putting together a pilot program that provided a healthy breakfast for students who needed it - whole-grain cereals, fruit, yogurt, 2 percent milk. Then they measured the performance improvement.
"We needed to put the program in place so they could see how it works," said Michelle Vasquez, a social studies teacher and Gypsum Creek Middle School's team manager.
They had to market their program, so they came up with a marketing brochure and prepared a presentation.
They created an advertisement for their daily morning announcement program, and team members in the media-productions class put together a video.
Part of it is a rap -their breakfast rap, if you will.
They took their show on the road and won their regional round in Palisade and finished third in the state finals over spring break in Denver.
After they finished their presentation at the state finals, they were given a problem to solve on the spot. They made it to globals because they hit a home run solving their problem.
That qualified them for the global finals in Knoxville, Tenn., May 23-26. And it really is global. Teams from all over the world show up.
"Were excited to be able to showcase our project on a world stage," Vasquez said. "Teams from all over the planet will be there."
Now, though, they have to raise $10,000 in the next few weeks.
The cost per kid to participate is around $1,200. With seven kids and Vasquez, they're trying to climb a steep monetary mountain.
"I am very proud of all the hard work this team has done," Vasquez said. "I have challenged them every step of the way, and every time they have found a way to meet and often exceed my expectations. The entire team is honored and very excited to represent Gypsum Creek on a global scale."
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.