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2018-19 Odyssey Angels

Remsenburg-Speonk Elementary School Odyssey Angels

Odyssey Angels asks that groups look within their neighborhoods with an eye for creative problem-solving and then brainstorm a way to help those in need. The 2019 Odyssey Angels of Remsenburg-Speonk Elementary School in Remsenburg, New York did just that.

After helping with a fundraiser at their community animal shelter, the team noticed some sad puppies. They decided this was the perfect opportunity to use their creativity to help.

They tried to think of ways to make the puppies happy, all while teaching them to be playful and have fun—thus making them more adoptable.

They learned that it was dangerous for the puppies to have decorations in their cages, so to help them learn and play, the team developed a safe and fun sensory puppy playground, “When dogs and cats are trained to know that different sights, sounds, smells, and textures are safe, they make better pets.  Not only does this help the shelter animals become happier, but it also helps the people who adopt from shelters.”

The sensory playgrounds themselves were also good for the planet, “We used our Odyssey of the Mind creative thinking skills to repurpose everyday materials that would otherwise be thrown away.  Doing this not only helps the shelter animals, but also helps our planet.  The dogs and cats love using their senses on the playground!”

The team continues to apply the engineering design cycle to improve the playground, making for increasingly happy animals – well on their way to become happily adopted pets!

 “As a teacher, parent and coach, I am most excited about sharing how Odyssey Angels applies OotM training with volunteer service to help make a brighter future in our communities and around the world,” said Coach Laureen Andria.

 “Service-learning is an invaluable way for students to apply their classroom knowledge to help others,” said Andria. “Odyssey Angels is an important part of a well-rounded, creative problem-solving program and I hope to see even more teams get involved.”

Along with many honorary Angel siblings, parents, teachers, administrators and OotM members, the RSE Odyssey Angels have 19 students (grades four to six) on the roster: Sofia Amodemo, Adam Bienkowski, Abby Bigora, Sophia Biondi, Luca Carreiro, Paige Feil, Eleanor Greiner, Jadyn Hunter, Lauren Hunter, Aaron Keifer, Evan Keifer, Sophia Koonmen, Leandra Melo, Sienna Meyer, Connor Morrison, Kate Pomroy, Meghan Pomroy, Bella Ruggiero and Brady Schultz.

The 2019 Odyssey Angels used their creative problem-solving and engineering skills to create a playground for animals that are often overlooked. Because of their new ideas, teamwork, and use of Odyssey skills, the group made a true impact on their community.