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Gifted Students Explore Odyssey of the Mind

Reporter: Lanetra Bennett
Email: lanetra.bennett@wctv.tv

Gradually improving, one local school refuses to stop at being average. The school takes another step on the path of improving from a 'C'.

"They had a very good sense of teamwork and they worked almost everything together. It was our pleasure to judge them." Those words were written by the judges of the Odyssey of the Mind Tournament.

It's a competition in which Jefferson Elementary School students won the Spirit of the Competition Award, an award for exceeding the competition's expectations.

Ja'lexia Sloan, a fifth grader at Jefferson Elementary said, "It was hard and it was a lot of work to compete in this kind of competition."

The Odyssey of the Mind Tournament is a creative problem-solving competition. Fourth and fifth graders illustrated a dramatic problem entitled, "Around the World in Eight Minutes."

They had to create their own script and make their own set, costumes, and props.

Allaura Pierce, another fifth grader atJefferson Elementary said, "It helped me learn that teamwork is a great thing. It was really hard."

Jefferson Elementary Fourth Grader Danella Potter said, "It makes me feel glad because I'm one of the star students here."

Gifted and Talented Program Teacher Megan O'Donnell says the award gives the students the confidence to put the school's past bad performance marks behind them. "It just shows that even though we may have had that label at one point in time, that's old news and we're moving onto new things. These kids are so bright. They can do anything that they want to do no matter what the school is labeled."

"I learned that you can achieve your goals if you keep on trying," Ja'lexia said.

Their play may have been called, "Around the World in Eight Minutes", but these students say their education can keep them on top of the world forever.

Thirteen students from the Gifted and Talented Program competed against more than 200 schools in Jacksonville.

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