Contest W7: Editorial Writing
You will be writing an editorial. The story should be approximately 400 words. With the aid of computers this year, we are able to enforce this. Please do not write longer than the word limit.
Please use the information provided below. The writer should determine which information is relevant and important to the story. Students may use dictionary, thesaurus and/or the Associated Press style manual. Only entries submitted online will be accepted. No exceptions will be made to this rule.
When you submit, you will simply be submitting plain text. Formatting such as italics, bold and underline will not transfer. Also, paragraph breaks will not transfer. To show the judge your intention to create a paragraph break, please use this double-backslash symbol: // For instance, a passage with two paragraph breaks would look like this:
The school board reversed the policy with an 11-1 vote. // “I disagreed with the decision, but I lost this time,” said board president Yvonnes Nulton. // The policy will go into effect at the start of next school year.
- 3 p.m. Feb. 19: contest materials available
- 11 p.m. Feb. 22: contest submission due
This contest is meant to be completed individually. Please refrain from seeking help from others while completing this contest.
Failure to follow these directions may result in disqualification from the contest without refund. Please read and follow carefully.
- Read over the prompt presented below. The writer should determine which information is relevant and important to the story.
- While writing, you may use resources like the AP Stylebook, an online style guide or a dictionary/thesaurus.
- Use whatever technology works best for you while writing your draft. This could be pencil and paper, your cell phone, your computer, etc. Do whatever you’re most comfortable with.
- Do not include your name or your school’s name anywhere on your final draft.
- Type up the final version of your story and submit it here.
- Please do not share your draft, notes or ideas about the prompt with others until after the competition deadline.
Here is a link to this contest’s judging rubric.
You are to write an editorial running in the next edition of the Sunflower News, your newspaper. The writer should determine the newspaper’s official opinion on the controversy and present an effective argument. The editorial should be approximately 400 words in length.
- Name: Sunflower High School
- Location: Clinton, Kansas
- Mascot: Mighty Buffalo
- Enrollment: 800 (grades 9-12)
- School colors: yellow and brown
- Yearbook: The Sunflower
- Newspaper: Sunflower News
- This is an on-site contest.
- Do not put your name on the entry. If you do, your entry will be disqualified.
- Students must not request help or advice from any person other than the KSPA Executive Director Eric Thomas at [email protected], and that advice must be requested before the start of the contest.
- All work must be solely that of the contestant.
Prompts will be visible at 3 p.m. Feb. 19.
Sunflower High School Pushing for a Healthier Student Body
By Luke Cunningham, Sunflower News staff writer
In an effort to promote healthy living, the Sunflower School District administrators have made significant changes around the school. Enacting their “Healthier Body, Healthier Mind” project, school administrators enacted a plan last month to increase the activity levels of its students throughout the day and decrease the amount of unhealthy food available at the school.
Plans outlined in the “Healthier Body, Healthier Mind” project include fitness and nutrition classes built into the class schedules of every student, regardless of their extracurricular activities or level in school. Each semester, students will be assigned to a different class that will engage them in a form of physical activity each day. One day a week will be designated as a “rest” day where the students will instead learn about nutrition and how to continue a healthy lifestyle outside of school.
School principal Kaiser Kim has been a big advocate for wellness in young people. He brought the team of administrators together to formulate the idea to boost health among the student body.
“I want to share all I’ve learned about the importance of being health-minded when you’re young,” Kim said. “My daughter, who is only 30, was recently diagnosed with diabetes. The doctors attributed it to genetics, but also to the unhealthy lifestyle she lived. I hope this program helps students avoid health problems down the road.”
Students will be assigned classes based on their grade and last name. A few classes included in the program are the following: powerlifting, running, yoga, crossfit, and aerobics. The school will hire five new teachers to instruct these classes, all with backgrounds in health, nutrition and physical wellness.
Henry Barr, a recent graduate from Sunflower University with a degree in nutrition and health sciences, is one of the teachers hired for one of the new positions.
“This is such a great initiative that the school is trying out,” Barr said. “When I was in high school I wish I knew more about nutrition and the benefits of starting a healthy lifestyle young. I played a sport or two, ate whatever I wanted and just relied on my metabolism to get the job done. I’m sure there are so many students at this school who feel the same. I can’t wait to show them the difference it makes in their physical and mental health to be active and fuel their bodies right.”
The new program has been met with a variety of responses from students. Not all are happy about adding another class to their already busy schedules. Kaitlyn Barnes, a junior with her heart set on attending the University of Notre Dame, mentioned her overwhelming schedule.
“Another class?” Barnes said. “How am I supposed to balance that when I’m already in all AP classes, taking ACT/SAT prep classes, and running for student body president? If there’s homework from these classes I just can’t handle it. Plus, won’t this extra class in our schedule take away time from our more important classes like math and science? I think this is a total waste of time.”
Meanwhile, some of the students enjoy the thought of taking a break with these classes meant to boost activity. Sophomore Gage Roth talks about his excitement for the new program.
“An hour a day out of the classroom?” Roth said. “Sign me up! I love being active, but the fact it takes even a little time away from other classes makes it even better. School has never been my thing, but who knows maybe a little break during the day will help me focus more.”
Some students had remaining questions and concerns they felt weren’t addressed by the administration’s statement on the new program. Danny Ricardo, a freshmen, voiced his concerns.
“I don’t feel like I really understand how this program will work,” Ricardo said. “How do we just have another hour in our school day? Are we cutting down on our electives or time spent in other classes? Also, we don’t even get to choose what type of activity we have in this new program, we’re just assigned to one. I have pretty bad asthma and high level of physical activity are pretty rough for me. I don’t know if there is a way for me to opt out of the running class, but for health reasons I think I need to.”
The Spring 2021 semester will act as a trial run for this program. If met with positive feedback and an improvement in student health, administrators plan to continue the program through the Fall 2021 semester. Students will take a survey at the beginning of the semester and measure their personal feelings on health and evaluate their lifestyle. They will then take the same survey at the end of the semester to track any changes. No physical test will be conducted on students to evaluate their progress.