My son Cole is on the Academic Decathlon team at his school. I really don’t know much about it except that since it’s called a decathlon, maybe there are 10 events, and I know it’s for smart people. Seriously. Call me an uninformed parent, but I didn’t really know what was going on. Sure, he stayed after school a couple of times a week and then he went to a few competitions on Saturdays, and that was that. Right? Well, shortly before our friends were coming to visit, I told the kids that Robin and her kids would be coming on a certain day, and Cole said, “That’s when the State Acadec competition is.” Oh, I asked it if was on the calendar, or if he had told me about this before. “Umm..” I guess not. Where is this competition, I asked. “In St. George.” What? So, we quickly found out the info, how much it would cost, when he would be gone, etc.
While he was gone, we kept in touch through short text messaging. He told me he rocked his speech, or had felt really good about a test. On Friday, he told me that they were first in the standings after 5 events. Saturday I got a message that they had won 1st place! Wow! I found out later that they had won first in large school, and also first overall, knocking our Park City, who I hear has won this competition for many years. Our little team of 9 kids were the best in the state! They now get to compete at the Nationals, which will be held in New Mexico at the end of April.
I am so amazed and so proud of my son! I mean, I’ve always known how smart he is, and he’s always been a good test taker, but this really is amazing! It was so fun to hear him tell about the weekend and his excitement at having done so well.
I said, “Cole, they will put this up on the marquee in front of the school that you are state champions!” He cynically replied that they only put up stuff about basketball, and probably wouldn’t even mention them. But, much to my surprise, they had a school assembly that week honoring excellence from their school this quarter, and they honored both the basketball team (1st in State, by the way) AND this little Academic Decathlon team. While probably most of the kids in the school have no idea who those math geeks on stage were, THEY knew, and THEY know how awesome they are.
I went to a parent meeting this week to find out a bit more info. These kids are going to be so deep in studying for the next four weeks, they don’t even have time to do fundraisers. The coach suggested a “Decathalon-athon” where people can pledge 5 or 10 cents for every page Cole studies during the next month, or look for corporate sponsors. Hmmm. I don’t really have great connections with any big companies who I could ask to donate all or part of the $6,000 needed to take the team, but I do have friends. Maybe if we can get 50-60 people who would donate $10 each, that would about cover Cole’s costs. Or if I had 25-30 people who would donate $20 each. You see where I’m going with this?
If you feel inclined to help Cole and his team out, we would HAPPILY accept your donations. Yes, Ryan and I will probably be paying for most of it, but it would be nice to not have to foot the whole bill, and we hope the community will also kick in with some corporate donations. This is ACADEMIC, after all.