2012-02-22 / News

Don't be grumpy, be happy

3rd-graders launch ‘marketing campaign’ to brings smiles to downtown Brunswick
BY DARREN FISHELL Times Record Staff


TEAM “DICE-N-DOTS” member Gia Guernelli hands a paper flower to Brunswick resident Jennifer Stickney in front of the Tontine Mall Saturday morning as a part of the Destination ImagiNation team’s effort to combat grumpiness. 
DARREN FISHELL / THE TIMES RECORD TEAM “DICE-N-DOTS” member Gia Guernelli hands a paper flower to Brunswick resident Jennifer Stickney in front of the Tontine Mall Saturday morning as a part of the Destination ImagiNation team’s effort to combat grumpiness. DARREN FISHELL / THE TIMES RECORD BRUNSWICK — What to do if you’re grumpy? For five Harriet Beecher Stowe School third-graders, the answer is: Buy a flower.

At least, that was part of the group’s chant Saturday morning to downtown passersby.

“This is something that could have only been dreamt up by five third grade girls,” parent Sheryl Palese said as she and other parents escorted the group on a morning campaign to combat grumpiness downtown.

The group — team “Dice-n- Dots” — is competing in the national Destination Imagi- Nation program, which includes more than 125,000 students across the country, according to information provided by the nonprofit organization.


THE FIVE-MEMBER Destination ImagiNation team “Dice-n-Dots,” all third-graders at Harriet Beecher Stowe Elementary School in Brunswick, combats grumpiness in downtown Brunswick on Saturday morning as part of a Destination ImagiNation outreach project that will be entered into a March competition at Oxford Hills High School. 
DARREN FISHELL / THE TIMES RECORD THE FIVE-MEMBER Destination ImagiNation team “Dice-n-Dots,” all third-graders at Harriet Beecher Stowe Elementary School in Brunswick, combats grumpiness in downtown Brunswick on Saturday morning as part of a Destination ImagiNation outreach project that will be entered into a March competition at Oxford Hills High School. DARREN FISHELL / THE TIMES RECORD For the outreach project, the team was challenged to use marketing tools to address what the team identified as a community issue.

The campaign to fight grumpiness in downtown Brunswick, which included a similar effort at Harriet Beecher Stowe Elementary School last week, will be presented during a March 17 competition at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School in South Paris, where the team will compete for a chance at state competition on March 31 at the University of Maine in Orono.

On Saturday, the group’s grumpy-fighting arsenal included handmade paper flowers and business-card sized greetings designed to elicit smiles.

With cheery picket signs, the girls marched up and down Maine Street on Saturday, greeting passersby and sharing their thoughts on how to brighten the day.

And there’s a method to the gladness.

“Being happy makes you live longer,” student and team member Molly Palese said. “We want people to be happy and live longer.”

The team, which has been practicing since January, includes third-graders Adeline Dolley, Gia Guernelli, Claire Launer, Betsy Orlando and Molly Palese.

Molly’s mother, Sheryl, is the team manager, but she said the program requires the adult manager to take a back seat to kids in planning and running the project that involved marketing and public outreach.

As for spreading cheer, Molly Palese said there’s no need to wait for a special day.

“You could just say, ‘hi’ to people, and ‘have a nice day!’” Palese said.

dfishell@timesrecord.com

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