Red Ribbon Week begins Monday

By FAITH HUFFMAN | News-Telegram News Editor

Oct 21, 2007 - While most students are looking forward to next week because it represents a four day student weekend, there’s also a lot of fun in store next week, especially for elementary aged children.

Sulphur Springs, like schools across the country, next week will be providing “unique ways to engage students and staff in promoting drug-free lifestyles. Each campus during the four class days Oct. 22-25 have adopted themes each day for promote Red Ribbon week.

Sulphur Springs High School’s theater arts department got a jump on Red Ribbon Week, with enactments of alcohol-driving crashes and casualties at the Fall Festival. Their community service project continued with the theater students presenting Jerome McDonough’s play “Alky” to their peers Thursday, and for the middle school students Friday. The play focuses on teen alcohol use, drug use and the importance of making the right choices. 

The drama students are also slated to take their play on the road to Saltillo for a 9:40 a.m. performance Tuesday, and to North Hopkins Thursday. They will continue their alcohol education service learning project on Halloween at 9 a.m. in Cumby and at 11:15 a.m. in Como-Pickton.

The SSHS student council and Drug Alcohol SAfety and Health (DASH) committee will also throughout the year slate activities “to more consistently share the message about living a life free from alcohol and drugs.

Other awareness efforts which will span the school year and include various grade levels will include guest speakers such as former NFL athlete Herman Weaver, Miss Texas and the Power Team.

Weaver, who played for the Detroit Lions and Seattle Seahawks, will also continue the drama department’s focus of making positive choices when he shares some of his personal experiences with SSISD elementary students on their campuses. Students should come away from the program  with a “clear presentation about the harmful effects of alcohol and drug abuse,” as well as facts and illustrations to encourage them to make the right choices.

Class discussions, presentations and age-appropriate lessons will also focus on teaching students how to make the right decisions for a drug-free, alcohol-free, tobacco-free lifestyle. Visits from the Power Team and Miss Texas will reinforce those lessons.

As for Ribbon Week, Oct. 22-26, each campus has designated particular days and activities with drug-free messages.

At Early Childhood Learning Center, Monday has been designated as “Wild About Being Drug Free.” Students are encouraged to dress in “wild” and colorful animal print or Wildcat spirit clothes, and to bring their favorite stuffed animal to share with others. On Tuesday, ECLC students and staff will “Say No to Drugs” by wearing something red and tying large red ribbons on poles around the campus during physical education classes. Wednesday, students and staff will “Team Up Against Drugs” by wearing athletic or sports attire; high school athletes will be special guests at a drug-free pep rally. On Thursday, students will put a lid on the week and “Put a Cap on Drugs” by wearing their favorite cap or hat.

Austin Elementary will “Celebrate Red Ribbon Week” Monday by wearing red clothes, releasing red balloons and signing a drug-free poster. On Tuesday, students will “Hunt Down Ways to Say No to Drugs” while donning camouflage clothing. Students and staff will Wednesday will “Lei Off Drugs” by wearing Hawaiian attire and watching drug prevention videos. Students will close the week out Thursday by wearing wildcat colors and sun shades to show how “Cool Cats Don’t Do Drugs.”

Bowie will get “Hooked on Books, Not on Drugs!” Monday by dropping everything to read for 10 minutes in the hallways. On Tuesday, students will focus on healthy living, exercising and right types of snacks, all in keeping with the them “Drug Free is a Healthy Way to Be.” On Wednesday, students and staff will be encouraged to “Join the Fight Against Drugs” by wearing camouflage. Friday, they will “Sock it to Drugs” by wearing mismatched or crazy socks.

Lamar Elementary will also be wearing red as a reminder t live drug-free lives Monday, designated “I Believe In Me.” Tuesday is the day Lamar students and staff will “Team Up Against Drugs” while wearing their favorite jerseys. On Wednesday, they’ll get “Hooked On Books Not Drugs” by bringing their favorite book to read; they’ll also get a bookmark to help mark their place. Lamar students and staff will be bold leaving mark by writing “no” to drugs with the pencil they receive for “Blue and Gold ... Cats are Bold to Say NO” Thursday.

Travis Elementary staff and students will also “Lei off Drugs” by receiving a lei and wearing Hawaiian shirts or attire Monday. The “Use Your Head, Don’t Do Drugs” pencil they receive won’t be nearly as wild as the “crazy hair” and “wigs” they are encouraged to wear Tuesday in honor of the Red Ribbon Week theme. Like Bowie, Travis staff and students will “Join the Fight Against Drugs” by wearing camouflage on Wednesday. Once again Thursday, they will “Team Up Against Drugs” by wearing their favorite Travis Tigers or Wildcat clothing.

Douglas Intermediate school will “Join the Fight Against Drugs” Monday wearing camouflage clothing. Tuesday they’ll illustrate how “Drugs Can Give You the Blues” by wearing blue clothing. Wednesday, they will “Sock it to Drugs” by wearing special or mismatched socks. Thursday, they’ll demonstrate that “Wildcats Don’t Do Drugs” by wearing Wildcat shirts or blue and gold clothing.

Sulphur Springs Middle School will “Join the Fight Against Drugs” by participating in a Red Ribbon Week quiz during advisory period Monday, as well as by wearing camouflage clothing. Tuesday will be the day SSMS students and staff “Shade Out Drugs” by wearing sunglasses, compete in small group Red Ribbon quiz. then communicate their ideas through class discussion. Wednesday they’ll sail right along while tipping their “Hats Off to Being Drug Free;” students and staff will get to bend the rules a bit by wearing hats, and students will watch a the drug awareness video “Natural High 3” during advisory. Thursday, SSMS students will “Team Up Against Drugs” by donning jerseys and enjoying a special Red Ribbon Week pep rally complete with a teacher skit, spirit chain and high school speakers.

For more information about Red Ribbon week activities on your campus, contact your child’s school.

The first Red Ribbon Celebration was held in 1986, by an organization of parents concerned about alcohol and drug abuse. The red ribbon honors Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent who was kidnapped and killed while investigating drug trafficking. Nancy Reagan helped establish Red Ribbon Week when Carmerana Club members gave her a presentation.

The campaign, recognized by the U.S. Congress, is a United States initiative of prevention and education about the dangers of drugs and alcohol. More than 80 million Americans participate in Red Ribbon events, according to estimates by National Family Partnership, which coordinates Red Ribbon activities nationally.

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