Newspapers in Education Winners Announced

Three Lampeter-Strasburg High School students have been recognized for their creativity in the 2017 Newspapers in Education (NIE) Design an Ad and Journalism contests.

Junior Lauren Torres took first place for her editorial. Emma Witmer took second place for her editorial. Pierson Castor received an honorable mention for his editorial. Here are their essays.
HS NIE 2017 Lampeter-Strasburg High School
Lauren Torres, Pierson Castor, and Emma Witmer

First Place Editorial
Advocacy for the Arts
by Lauren Torres
An education of the arts has been a part of student curriculum for as long as any student today can remember. Fine arts programs contribute to the well-roundedness of students and promote individually as well as self-expression. Unfortunately, each year more school across the country are cutting fine arts programs. This is not only terrible news for teacher of these important subjects, but detrimental to the students who are being deprived of a versatile education.

Education of the arts is crucial for child development. Many of the motions that a child makes while involved in the arts process, holding pencil, coloring, or using a paintbrush, are essential for the growth of motor skills in children. Children are able to learn words for colors, shapes, and actions first hand.

A report of Americans for the Arts state that art education strengthens problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. The experience of making simple decisions, such as what color or sounds to choose or how to tackle a specific art task, carry over into other parts of life.

Inventiveness, cultural awareness, visual learning, and enhanced academic performance are just a few other benefits.

A similar study was done at John Hopkins titled "Neuroeducation: Learning, Art and the Brain." This study’s finding concluded that the arts can help "rewire the brain in positive ways." The results showed that students who undertook music programs displayed changes in their very brain structure. These structural changes helped the students to transfer their moto skills to other similar tasks.

The arts provide an opportunity for students to be creative and express themselves. By projecting themselves will become more self-aware, therefore raising self-confidence. If we can reap one positive aspect from an education of fine arts, then those programs would be protected at all costs.

Second Place Editorial
A Race for Greener Pastures: The Plight of Ex-Racehorses
by Emma Witmer
Often called the “Sport of Kings” horse racing has been around for a very long time, found as far back as ancient Egypt in 1500 bc, and since then this sport has blossomed into an industry. Unfortunately this flower comes with thorns that ensnare the very horses who run these races. Injuries tied to overexertion, and the disposable mentality of those who partake in the tracked sport are but a few issues of the competition.
Too many horses are bred for this sport. Over twenty-thousand thoroughbreds hailing from North America foaled alone in 2015, as recorded by The Jockey Club. Thoroughbreds can live up to thirty years, yet the racing career for the average horse is around five. Finding loving homes that can support all these retired racers is impossible. Even after racing their past life ghosts them with damage dealt by the track’s activities. Simply put by Jane in her article titled: “Buying an Ex-Racehorse: Can You Spot the Major Physical Issues” she states that “Injuries to flexor tendons are extremely common amongst racehorses, with the deep digital flexor tendon and superficial digital flexor tendon being the most affected. These can be relatively minor lesions, which heal up quite nicely, to more serious ruptures that end a racing career.” Costs will continue to flow over treating, or easing, these complications after retirement. If this sport is ever to be considered fair for our equine friends factors such as these need to be recognized. We should not be constantly adding to their population and presence on the market with no way of housing them comfortably. We need to recognize that we are dealing with living, feeling entities and not a deck of cards. These horses give everything to us, and it’s time to reciprocate that action. 

Honorable Mention Editorial
All Lives Matter. Enough Said.
by Pierson Castor

The election of President Barack Obama in 2008 was the most significant milestone in the nation’s fight against racism since the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Now, however, Americans are far more divided than they were just eight years ago, and much of this division can be blamed on the organization known as Black Lives Matter.

First, I must clarify that my problem is not at all with the phrase “black lives matter.” My problem is with a group that knowingly lies about numerous incidences in order to promote its hateful rhetoric that police officers are simply looking to murder innocent African-Americans. Our men and women in uniform are the bravest among us. They risk their lives every day to keep us safe, and any effort to discredit them is sickening.

When police officers run into harm’s way, they do not take into account the race of whoever needs saving. No one should deny that mistakes have been made, but in the overwhelming majority of occurrences that Black Lives Matter points to as “evidence” of the police being savage killers, circumstances escalated to an intense level and the actions taken were completely justified.

The best way to solve race relations in this country is to quit treating skin color as if it is any more relevant than the color of someone’s hair. Our worth as human beings is not determined by the level of melatonin in our skin. All lives matter, and we should judge each other based upon our individual values, ideas, and accomplishments.

The objective of groups like Black Lives Matter is not to unify us; it is to divide us. If we allow them to succeed, the United States of America will regress into a state in which people are labeled by the color of their skin.

--Photos by Mrs. Anne Harnish

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