Food shouldn’t be on the classroom reward menu

Neely Yancey Mustangs Ahead

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL)– LRHS cafeteria manager Carolyn Henderson is urging an end to food-based classroom rewards.

“I hope that LRHS teachers will take interest in offering rewards other than food,” said Henderson. “There are many great ideas of what to provide students for their achievements.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), child obesity in the United States has tripled since the 1970s, and 1 in 5 school-aged children is obese.

According to the Connecticut Department of Education, schools may be one of the contributing factors to the increase of childhood obesity.

Food rewards such as candy are commonly given to children in classrooms for good behavior or grades. Unfortunately, rewarding children with food for their efforts can result in major consequences, including obesity in early childhood and adulthood.

Rewarding children with food in the classroom also compromises classroom learning. While being fed unhealthy food, children can learn unhealthy eating habits, which can later contribute to poor health and the overconsumption of unhealthy foods.

University of Connecticut Rudd Center for Obesity & Food Policy Director Marlene Schwartz said, “Rewarding children with unhealthy foods in school undermines our efforts to teach them about good nutrition.  It’s like teaching children a lesson on the importance of not smoking, and then handing out ashtrays and lighters to the kids who did the best job listening.”

Considering that obesity in American children is quickly increasing, there are many ways that obesity can be prevented at home and school. Reducing food rewards or providing alternatives can significantly impact these growing numbers.


LRHS math final requires real world research

Taylor Jefferson – Mustangs Ahead

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL)- LRHS college algebra and geometry teacher Meghan Sugalski has started her annual post-senior project, and it’s not

For the project, students must search the three colleges that the student wants to attend, go to each of the college websites, and find their course catalogs. They also must find the general education math requirements.

Sugalski said, “This project gives students an idea of what other math classes they need to or don’t need to take to get into these colleges.”

Sugalski has been doing this project for about six years now, and said the student response has been generally positive.

Mustang musicians benefit from summer program

Jamie Tarriela – LRHS News

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – The Sarasota Orchestra Youth program is one of the best music programs in Florida. Students from across Bradenton, Sarasota, and Tampa, including numerous Mustangs, travel to Sarasota in order to participate throughout the year.

The Sarasota Orchestra supports seven different ensembles within the Youth Orchestra Program and also hosts a three week long Summer Music Camp.

The Youth Orchestra Program is a 30 week long commitment that lasts from September to April. It is separated into seven different orchestra levels.

The students must audition for the separate orchestras, and are expected to attend all of the two-and-a-half hour rehearsals held weekly.

Junior Cypress Potter said, “I’ve been a part of the Youth Orchestra Program for nine years now. I began playing when I was eight, since then I’ve never stopped playing. The instructors there have taught me almost everything I know, and each of them has their own unique style and personality.”

This year, the Summer Music Camp will be held from June 26 – July 14, and is accepting band and orchestra students of all levels.

LRHS Orchestra Director Daniel Shafer said, “I highly recommend the programs at the Sarasota Orchestra because they are some of the few places that students can go to find others that are truly passionate about music. Joining a program requires a whole new level of commitment, but they each give students a great amount of music experience and training.”

LRHS Silver Stars understand summer isn’t all vacation

Sammy Kedziora – Mustangs Ahead

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL)- The start of summer typically means beach trips, relaxing, vacation, and hanging out with friends. However, for the Lakewood Ranch Silver Stars Dance Team, summer is just an invitation for more practices.

With their first practice on May 1, the Silver Stars jumped right into learning their pom routine for this season from guest choreographer Kirsten Winship. Pom is a fast and energetic style of dance that includes sharp arm movements and visually appealing formation changes. Dancers also hold poms in their hands during the routine.

Their summer schedule kicks off with an 8-9 a.m. conditioning session on June 5 along with every Monday and Friday at Celery Fields, Sarasota, along with regular practices from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday in the Lakewood Ranch High Cafeteria until United Dance Association (UDA) Summer Camp.

Every summer, the team spends a week in St. Petersburg for UDA’s Annual Summer Dance Camp. There the team will perform their pom routine that will compete against other high school teams in the area.

If the team places first, as they have for years in the past, they will be guaranteed a spot at their national competition in February of 2018.

Mustangs anticipate summer films

Jonathan Barker – Mustangs Ahead

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – As students transition from books to beaches and summer begins, movies become action packed and franchises see new installments ushering in the summer film season.

Set for release on May 25, the action comedy “Baywatch” starring Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron as lifeguards appropriately begins the summer movie season.

LRHS junior Connor Jurek is excited for the action. “I’m excited to see The Rock (Johnson) and the chemistry with his co-star, Zac Efron.”

Many franchises are seeing new installments over the summer. Premiering on May 26, the fifth film in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man Tells No Talesonce again starring Johnny Depp as the bumbling swashbuckler, Captain Jack Sparrow.

Sophomore Riley Stewart is particularly excited for this film, “Pirates is my favorite franchise and Johnny Depp is bound to turn in an enjoyable performance.”

Set for a June 16 release, Pixar has returned to the Cars franchise for the third installment, “Cars 3“. This is the first Pixar trilogy since the acclaimed Toy Story trilogy.

Director Michael Bay and actor Mark Wahlberg have returned for the fifth live action Transformers movie, “Transformers: The Last Knight.”

 According to BoxOfficeMojo, the four previous Transformers film have collectively earned over $1.3 billion in the domestic box office.

A staple of the summer movie season is the superhero genre, and this summer is going to see the release of Sony’sSpider-Man: Homecomingon July 7. This is the first Spider-Man film since the Amazing Spider-Man series, and the film is going to pick up shortly after the events of Captain America: Civil War.

The highly anticipated World War II action drama “Dunkirk“, directed by critical darling Christopher Nolan is set for release on July 21. With a slew of critical and commercial successes defined in scope and story, Nolan’s newest production is shrouded in expectations to be a potential award winning film.

Junior Lauren Wood has been waiting for this film since the beginning of the year.

“Out of all the films this year, Dunkirk is the film I am most excited for.”