Leadership promotes South Lawn lunches to encourage students to stay on campus

It’s finally that time of the year again: the weather is warmer, there is talk of heading out to Stinson after school and sweatshirts are put into backpacks by fourth period. That’s right, summer is just around the corner.

With such pleasant weather, it might be expected that students are outside eating and socializing during the lunch period. However, according to the Leadership class, not enough students are taking advantage of the sunshine—and they have a plan to change this.

To combat the fact that many students, especially upperclassmen, eat in their cars or go out to lunch, Leadership has a new mission of encouraging students to eat lunch on the South Lawn on Fridays. They hope to achieve this through a variety of incentives and fun activities provided by Leadership.

Senior Zach Tull  enjoys a slice of Stefano's pizza at lunch on campus during Sustainability Week.

Senior Zach Tull enjoys a slice of Stefano’s pizza at lunch on campus during Sustainability Week.

David Plescia, one of the two Leadership advisors, explained the main goal behind this new effort.

“What Leadership wants to achieve is to encourage kids to stay at school for lunch and also have them eat and congregate in a large, central area where they can meet new people,” Plescia said.

Kendall DeAndreis, the other Leadership advisor, believes that the beauty and scenery of students’ surroundings is not being appreciated, and this perception was a contributing factor in making the decision to promote lunch on the South Lawn.

“Often times students skedaddle at lunch and go their separate ways without realizing that we have such a beautiful campus, with Mt. Tam and the Marin sunshine,” DeAndreis said.

The Leadership class plans to launch the trend off the momentum of Sustainability Week, a week-long event in late May that was held by Leadership and the Sustainable Agriculture class to promote simple lifestyle changes that would serve to make the Redwood community more sustainable. Leadership will utilize a variety of incentives to encourage students to stay on campus at lunch.

Juniors Harri Hetrick and Freddie Kehoe enjoy an intense game of spike ball on the South Lawn.

Juniors Harri Hetrick and Freddie Kehoe enjoy an intense game of spike ball on the South Lawn.

“We have looked at some lawn games that we can purchase and reuse, like cornhole and bocce ball. We have even looked into creating a mini putting green to put atop the lawn,” Plescia said.

The lawn games which were showcased during Sustainability Week seemed to be very popular; among them were spikeball, bag toss, and Jenga. Students participated in games throughout lunch, and Leadership hopes to emulate this success with South Lawn Fridays.

Junior Leadership student Mackenzie Kenneally highlighted the importance of promoting outdoor lunches, saying that although the lunches are meant to be lighthearted and fun, they serve an additional purpose.

The gloomy weather didn't prevent students from coming out to the south lawn to play games.

The gloomy weather didn’t prevent students from coming out to the south lawn to play games.

“The whole purpose of [these lunches] is really just to build our sense of community and make the connection between all grades much stronger,” Kenneally said.

The Leadership class hopes to build upon the success of Sustainability Week, and strives to encourage students to make more thoughtful choices during their lunchtime that benefit both the community and the environment.

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