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Capital University News, California State University, Sacramento
November 20, 2003
Soft drinks, soft kids?
Essay contest on soda in schools
High school juniors
and seniors can win a day in Sacramento meeting with state leaders in an essay
contest sponsored by the LegiSchool Project, a civic education program of the
Center for California Studies at California State University, Sacramento and
the State Legislature.
This year’s topic is soda machines in high schools.
Legislation signed in September bans the machines in California elementary and
junior high schools in an effort to reduce childhood obesity rates.
But high schools, originally included in the legislation, were excluded in the
final version. They can still collect an average of $30,000 a year in vending
sales that’s often used for school clubs, athletics and other special
Entries should answer the following: At a time when roughly 30 percent of California’s
kids are overweight, almost 40 percent are considered unfit and childhood diabetes
is on the rise, should schools be required to remove soda machines? Most schools
rely heavily on revenues generated from soda sales. As funding for education
decreases, can schools afford to do away with soda sales without adversely impacting
special programs? If this new law applied to high schools, how would it affect
your school? Should this law apply to all levels of public schools (K-12) or
should high schools be excluded? Why or why not? How do you recommend tackling
the health problems mentioned above?
The 10 winners will come to Sacramento on Thursday, March 25 to take part in
the annual Student Legislative Summit at the State Capitol. It will include
a student-run press conference with state leaders, lunch at the Capitol, tours
of the Capitol and Golden State Museum, and meetings with journalists and state
Entrants must be juniors or seniors in high school. Essays must be typed, double-spaced,
750 words or less and include the student's name, home address, phone number,
name of high school and teacher who announced the contest. Entries must be postmarked
by Jan. 16, 2004 and submitted to: CSUS, Center for California Studies, LegiSchool
Essay Contest, 6000 J Street, Sacramento, CA 95819-6081.
LegiSchool seeks to engage students in the state’s political process by
addressing issues that directly impact their lives. More information is available
at (916) 278-6906 or www.csus.edu/legischool.
California State University, Sacramento Public Affairs
6000 J Street Sacramento, CA 95819-6026 (916) 278-6156