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Spring forward, fall back

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It's that time of the year again; time for that dreaded loss of that precious hour of sleep. The time when everyone ends up being late for something. No matter how predictable this occurrence might be, everyone seems to get a little bit confused and behind schedule during this change.

For a lot of folks, this time switch might seem a little pointless and annoying, but Day Light Savings in-fact has a great purpose to our lives.

The idea of Day Light Savings was first proposed by George Vernon Hudson in 1895, and it was not enforced until World War I. Hudson first conjured up the idea of saving daylight while employed as a shift-worker in New Zealand. His leisurely job gave him time to collect insects and he began to deeply value daylight. He presented a paper to the Wellington Philosophical Society, in 1895 that proposed a saving of daylight by a two hour delay of the clocks. This proposal was greatly considered and was later adopted in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Although Hudson was the original, many news publications haphazardly gave the credit to a prominent English man, by the name of William Willet. Willet also conceived the idea of daylight savings in 1905 when he noticed how so many of his fellow Londoners slept through an enormous part of the summer day. His love for golf also played a large part in this idea, because he hated to cut his round short at dusk. Willet's solution was to advance the clock during the summer. This idea was set in a proposal and taken up by a member of Parliament named Robert Pearce.

Pearce first introduced this new Daylight Savings Bill to the House of Commons on February 12, 1908. A small committee was put in charge of examining and passing or rejecting the bill. Unfortunately the bill did not become law, and several other bills failed in following years. Willet lobbied for Day Light Savings to be passed, in the UK, for many, many years until his life came to an end in 1915.

It was not until April 30, 1916 that Day Light Savings was first used. It was during World War I that Germany and its allies wanted to find a way to conserve coal during wartime. Britain, its allies, and many European countries followed suit. Some more strong-willed countries found it useful and followed suit the year after. The United States adopted Day Light Savings in 1918. Ever since then, the world's countries have been enacting, adjusting, and repealing this idea of Saving Daylight.

No matter the history of the act, if you live in the U.S., then today you will be, or already have, set your clocks forward an hour. Some people, like myself, have trouble remembering when to set clocks and whether its forward or backwards.

Thanks to Google and my ingenious search of “Day Light Savings Time” in the search bar, I have found this handy dandy saying that anyone can remember. “Spring Forward, Fall Back”—it easily informs that in the spring time (March, 11 at 2:00 a.m.) you set your clocks forward an hour, and in the fall (November 4 at 2:00 a.m.) you fall back an hour.

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Anthony Shriver Discusses Best Buddies

Anthony Shriver Discusses Best Buddies

By Zoe Allen-Lewis 

Lasso reporter Zoe Allen- Lewis got the opportunity to talk to founder of Best Buddies Anthony Shriver over the phone, and get an insight on Shriver’s experiences and passion for Best Buddies. Shriver started Best Buddies in 1989 and he and his family are very important activists for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Take a listen to her interview! 



Personalized Learning Takes George Mason Next Year

Personalized Learning Takes George Mason Next Year

After a year of planning GM is able to take the last steps toward a new technologically integrated curriculum 

Blaise Sevier 

With the help of George Mason Technology Coordinator Steve Knight, and many others, the plea to increase technology within the Falls Church School Public Schools has been revisited again: this time with a concrete triennial plan to implement a “Personalized Learning” initiative in the 2014-2015 school year.

Starting the week of August 11, every student in George Mason will receive a laptop as part of the newly developed, "Personalized Learning" initiative. The full details of the plan are found in Falls Church City Public Schools Instructional Technology, Strategic Planning Integration Recommendations manual. This plan was just recently approved (on April 9, 2014) by the Virginia Department of Education, and is officially part of the GM curriculum.

“I’m excited about the promise of every kid having a technological resource in their hands,” said George Mason Principal Tyrone Byrd. “It’ll make it easier in school and they’ll be able to personalize it to their own interests and also take it home.”

A parent meeting will be required during the two weeks starting August 11 to sign devices out to students. Then, once school starts, the first few days of classes will also incorporate informational workshops that help assist the transition. Also, throughout the school year, an on-site assistance booth, and more services will be provided for faculty and students.

“We have heard loud and clear (from the reaction of the 1-1 program) that if we are going to be giving students and faculty members laptops, training is a critical step that will need to be incorporated within our school year,” said Knight.

The recognition of this training program has already made its way to the 2014-2015 calendar. Before and during the school year staff will have a minimum of 20 hours of technology integration training.

“It doesn’t replace the teacher and the relationship they have with their students, so we’re going to help them walk that balance,” said Byrd.

For more information about FCCPS’ upcoming “Personalized Learning” program visit the FCCPS Instructional Technology Strategic Planning and Integration Presentation

“I’m really excited about it, our teachers are excited about it, there’ll be a lot of development over the summer to prepare for that so we’ll hit the ground running next year,” said Byrd.



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Byrd Feeder celebrates another year of success

Byrd Feeder celebrates another year of success

By Andrea Dilao 

A crowd of parents and students gathered in support of Mason’s All Night Graduation Celebration (ANGC) at the fifth annual Byrd Feeder, which took place Saturday afternoon at Clare and Don’s Beach Shack. Hosted by Principal Tyrone Byrd, the Byrd Feeder is a primary fundraiser for the ANGC, and with a unique and varied selection of items for the silent auction, over $4,500 was raised.

“Overall, we thought the event was a big success,” said Byrd Feeder co-chair, Ann Niederpruem. “Turnout was great, and it helped that the weather was perfect. Expenses for the event were almost non-existent, and Clare and Don's generously donated use of the patio as they have for the Byrd Feeder's 5-year history.”

“The great thing is that each year there is a new 'batch' of parents to get donations from so the auction is always diverse,” Byrd Feeder co-chair Sue Earman said. “We had items from professional artisans to items such as homemade family specialties to corporate donations.”

The ANGC is an annual event that provides Mason’s seniors with a safe, alcohol- and drug-free environment, yet still allows them to enjoy themselves, party, and celebrate their graduation as a class.

“Some people just stopped by [the Byrd Feeder] to donate directly to ANGC,” said Earman. “Many students have no idea about the vast net of supporters of this safe event, like people who don’t have senior students. It is heartwarming to know how many people appreciate the ANGC and the Byrd Feeder.”

The Byrd Feeder, while being one of the most significant fundraisers for the ANGC, isn’t the only one. Funds are also raised through the Phantom Ball and online donations, as well as the Holiday Market that took place in the fall. 

“Bidding on auction items at the Byrd Feeder was competitive and the high bidders [auction item winners] were from within and outside the Mason community,” Niederpruem said. “We were very pleased to have such broad support.”

“I’m hoping that this is something that people look forward to every year,” said chair of the ANGC committee Ellen Meinhart. “People will always have a reason to come out because they’re supporting something that I hope they believe in, and is an important event.”



Mason’s H.O.P.E club raises money for Ugandan student

Mason’s H.O.P.E club raises money for Ugandan student

By Tara Holman 

Helping Others Pursue Education (H.O.P.E) is affiliated with the Arlington Academy of Hope (AAH), a volunteer nonprofit organization that assists students in rural Uganda with education, health care, development opportunities and community outreach.


Each year, the club conducts fundraisers to raise $1,000 to send to Alex, their sponsored student, to help fund his education. Members of H.O.P.E are interested in sponsoring more students in the next few years.


Previous fundraisers have involved local community members and businesses, such as Claire & Dons, Bedazzled, Chipotle, and many other businesses, who provided H.O.P.E with residence for their H.O.P.E. Festival. Their most recent fundraiser will take place on May 7 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Panera Bread, located right here in Falls Church. Part of the proceeds from that day will be given to Mason’s H.O.P.E club in support of Alex.


If you are interested in supporting H.O.P.E and contributing to Alex’s education, please print off the flyer here and hand it in after purchasing a meal from Panera on Wednesday, May 7 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.


If you would like further information or would like to make a direct donation to H.O.P.E, please email Holly Herrington at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it