Local schools celebrate Red Ribbon Week
Door decorating contests, dress up days, posters, book character parade, WalkTober event, and red ribbons on trees.
These are among the ways Jackson County schools celebrated Red Ribbon Week during the last week of October.
The nation’s largest and longest-running drug prevention campaign is led by the National Family Partnership, formerly the National Federation of Parents for Drug-Free Youth. It was established as a local nonprofit organization in 1980 by a handful of concerned and determined parents who believed they should start taking a leadership role in drug prevention, according to redribbon.org.
Today, NFP raises awareness about drugs by sponsoring the annual National Red Ribbon Campaign. Since its inception in 1985, the Red Ribbon has touched the lives of millions of people around the world, serving as a symbol of commitment to raising awareness about the drug killing and destruction in America. The red ribbon serves as a catalyst to mobilize communities to educate young people and encourage participation in substance abuse prevention activities.
Locally this year, Seymour Middle School and Medora Community Schools held door decorating contests. Classroom doors were decorated with a drug-free message, and students and staff voted for their favorite.
At SMS, Clayton Carr’s PRIDE class was chosen as the winner. It carried the message “Drugs are a nightmare”.
“My class came up with the overall design based on a class vote for what they wanted the theme to be,” said Carr, a math teacher at the school. “It started out as a skeleton theme, and a student brought up Jack Skellington’s idea. I took it from there and put a touch of the red ribbon week in it. “
The work was completed by Carr.
“I told the students that I would draw whatever they needed and that they would lead the creation of the door,” he said. “We looked at a few sample images of Jack Skellington with backgrounds, and they voted on whichever they wanted for the overall design.”
Since there were a lot of creative doors around SMS, Carr was pleasantly surprised when he learned that hers had been declared the winner.
“I am very excited for my class to see their creativity channeled into a positive message and to see them win the competition,” Carr said. “I hope the kids get the message across that a drug free life is the life to be lived.”
He said it was great to see the school come together and create a sense of community.
“Knowing that there are peers around you who support a drug-free lifestyle, I think it allows students to feel that they don’t have to feel peer pressure in something they don’t want to do, ”he said.
Meigan Vest, the seventh-year SMS advisor, said the door decorating competition and special student days combined for a great week.
“We are participating in Red Ribbon Week in hopes of raising awareness about just saying no to drugs,” she said. “The students had fun dressing up on different themes built around saying no to drugs, and they loved helping their team and class decorate their doors. “
In Medora, Marissa Hatchett’s preschool class won the door decorating competition. She combined Minions and Spider-Man and shared the “Drugs are vile” message.
Normally, she takes a class vote to decide on class ideas. In this case, Minions and Spider-Man were the better choices, so they rolled around with them.
“For my pre-K kids, choosing the door was really about choosing things that interest them,” Hatchett said. “If I can integrate what interests my children, then they are more involved in the lesson.”
The message she shared with the kids was about healthy choices.
“Making sure that what we choose to put into our bodies are healthy choices, which starts with healthy food choices,” she said. “Kindergarten is too young to talk specifically about drugs, but talking about the choices we make and how they affect our bodies is the first step.”
She was happy to see the school come together for Red Ribbon Week.
“Kids really love to get involved, especially when it’s something they know is important to their teachers,” Hatchett said. “At Medora we are all like family and as teachers / staff we want our children to be the best they can be. Red Ribbon Week aims to promote positive social behaviors. Our goal is prevention, helping our students make the right choices and promoting the importance of living a life free of drugs, alcohol and tobacco.
For the Red Ribbon Week posters, members of the Brownstown Elementary School student council decorated them and then they were placed on the cafeteria wall.
The book character parade was led by students from Crothersville Elementary School in the school’s main gymnasium. This allowed the students to dress like a character from a book.
The sixth grade center at Seymour Middle School hosted a WalkTober event on the last day of Red Ribbon Week. It was a fundraiser for the school that shared the students’ message saying no to drugs with every step they took.
At Seymour High School, freshmen gathered in groups to tie large red ribbons around the trees on the school lawn. Guidance counselor Billy Harmon, who organized the Red Ribbon Week activities, said it helped show the school’s drug-free message and philosophy.
Another guidance counselor, Nikki Storey, said that while sophomores and juniors took the PSAT, this activity gave freshmen something to do that was educational and meaningful.
“Last year, because of COVID, we just let freshmen go home and have a day of online learning, but we wanted to do something this year that hopefully offered prevention and student education, ”she said.
Harmon said the freshmen also watched a few videos – one about an Avon teenager who vaped regularly and ended up in the hospital, and another featuring various celebrities encouraging kids to find a natural high.
“Whether it is cycling, it could be playing a sport, it could be something related to music, but something natural to make you feel good, not to rely on the artificial effect of drugs” , Harmon said. “Find it now instead of finding something artificial later that you’re going to try to trust that isn’t healthy.” “
School-wide, students took a Red Ribbon Week quiz on Monday and Friday, and the only dress-up day was Friday with the “Team up against Drugs” message, where students wore shirts. clothing showing their favorite sports team.
“The goal is over the week they’re going to have an improvement in the score from pre-test to post-test,” Harmon said of the quizzes.