IWA students give up soda for four months

Published 10:08 am Saturday, June 4, 2011


Isle of Wight Academy students who survived the 2011 Soda Challenge were, in no particular order, Hannah Ficco, Will Morningstar, Abigail Hickman, Amber Edwards, Brett Bradshaw, Stan Smeltzer, Peyton Baylous, Cheyenne Freeman, Sammie Schwegel, Michael Quirin, Marissa Mullen, Becky Milburn, Kate Ciaston, Kaitlin Peterson, Stephen L’Abbe, Diana McBride, Ashley Petroski, Falyn Fentress, Linze Jakobs, Alexandra Williams, Jake Owens, Ty Moger, Jacob Martin, Matt Byrd, Alec Benner, Amber Jackson, Hunter Baylous, Rachel Betz, Bryce Casey, Gavin St.Clair, Rylee Williams, Sarah Hall, Nathan Eurich and Willie Keyt. -- MERLE MONAHAN | TIDEWATER NEWS

ISLE OF WIGHT—More than 30 sixth- and seventh-graders at Isle of Wight Academy experienced going without soft drinks for four months.

Teacher Missie Babb challenged students to give up soda because it’s not healthy.

“We started with 85 students, out of which 73 agreed to try it,” she said. “Some of them just couldn’t make it, however, but at the end of four months, we did have 34 to survive the challenge, and that isn’t bad.”

Prior to the challenge, Babb would see students drink soft drinks in the morning, at lunch and during their afternoon break.

“I decided to teach them the dangers of drinking so many of the beverages, so on Jan. 20 I gave them a handout with 15 reasons why they should not drink so many,” Babb said. “We discussed the reasons, which included things like tooth decay, diabetes, weight gain, dehydration, increased blood pressure and others. Then I gave each student a ‘2011 Soda Challenge’ form to sign.”

Everyone who signed up had their name placed on a bulletin board. From there, it was an honor system: Students removed their names if they drank a soda.

One student failed the challenge within hours of signing the pledge.

“That’s how addicting these drinks are,” Babb said. “And I know because another teacher, Holly Price, and I were both addicted to Mountain Dew.”

Babb and Price survived the challenge, although it was hard.

Seventh-grade student Jacob Martin said it was really hard at first.

“But after a while, it got easier, and now, soft drinks just don’t taste good,” he said.

Jacob had help; his mother, Lisa, took the challenge with him.

Sisters Hunter Baylous and Peyton Baylous took the challenge together. Both agreed it was a great thing to do.

“It makes us feel healthier and better,” said Hunter. “Now we drink iced tea.”

Winners were treated to a pizza party and received T-shirts that say, “I Survived the 2011 Soda Challenge. “

And what was the drink of choice? Water and iced tea, or anything as long as it wasn’t soda.