Grove robotics winners hope to head to Kentucky

Valley Grove Elementary School students Aaron Wetjen, Quinten Boozell, Lucas Hickey and Maddox Songer, recent award winners at a state robotics competition in Harrisburg, will be heading to Kentucky in April if the school board next week approves their proposed travels.

Valley Grove School Board members learned at their work session Monday that the sixth-graders’ team, The Brain Teasers, has qualified to compete in the 2019 VEX Robotics World Championship in Louisville.

The proposed trip would mean the team would travel in a van and stay for three nights at a motel, accompanied by teacher Ben Barrett, a second teacher and an administrator.

The trip would also entail costs for team registration in the competition, meals, substitute teachers and a party for the team at Kentucky Kingdom.

Superintendent Kevin Briggs told the board that “we are still sorting out how we will support this trip financially.”

“We strongly feel that we should make this happen for the kids. They were the only team in the region (Pennsylvania Rural Robotics Initiative) to qualify, among all grades,” Briggs said.

Briggs also said “we are looking into Title IV funds, and we have some ideas for rounding up some community support to finance the trip. We will firm it up, and I will have some numbers for you (next week).”

Board vice president Cindy Swendsen asked about the district helping parents who travel with their children to be able to stay in the same motel as the students.

“We are looking into that,” said Briggs.

The board also heard a presentation from Jodee Raybuck of The Nutrition Group Inc., which is the contracted provider of meals to the district’s schools.

Raybuck talked about the various menus that are offered to the schools and the methods used to promote healthy eating among the students.

The Nutrition Group’s contract is up for renewal at the end of this school year in June.