Grand Prize - Piedmont Middle School Piedmont, Alabama

Piedmont Middle School planned its activities around the theme “One School, One Goal—Drug Free.” In Piedmont, the local school district provides MacBook computers to each student. The MacBooks were incorporated into Red Ribbon Week this year. Students used I-chat during homeroom to hold discussion forums about avoiding substance abuse. In language class, sixth and seventh graders researched and summarized the history of Red Ribbon Week using their MacBooks; eighth graders researched a drug each and made presentations to the class. Science students created wallpaper and screensavers for the MacBooks based on the “One School, One Goal” theme. A mini basketball from Positive Promotions was awarded at each grade level for the best wallpaper or screensaver. Social studies classes watched the movie “Natural High”; students then typed their “natural highs” on their MacBooks. The school produced its own video, an I-movie called “Dance.” Teachers, staff members, the school mascot, and administrators were brave enough to dance for the production; many of the “performers” wore “Our School Rocks Drug Free” T-shirts. Not everything was MacBook related; the girl’s basketball team played against the faculty, with the boy’s basketball team serving as coaches, referees, etc. Admission to the game was $1.00, which was donated to a charity.

Grand Prize - San Jacinto Elementary School, Deer Park, Texas

San Jacinto Elementary School came up with the theme “iBelieve In Me…iAm Drug Free.” Each grade level started with a different activity. Kindergartners put tissue paper around an “award” ribbon and filled in “________ is drug free!” with their names. First graders heard a story about Kiki Camarena, then wrote summary essays. Second grade teachers made a large paper beehive that read, “iBelieve iWill Bee Drug Free;” students signed bees. On recipe cards, each third grader wrote a recipe for maintaining a drug free life. Fourth graders received paper iPhone cutouts and wrote text messages on them about staying drug free. Fifth graders designed their own bumper stickers that began with “iWill…”. Students wore red for “iKnow iAm ‘Red’y To Say No To Drugs.” They donned green for “iCan Keep My Mind And The Earth Clean.” Slippers were worn for “iWill Not Let Drugs Slip Up On Me!” Jeans and school spirit t-shirts were the attire for “iAm A ‘Jean’ius Because iAm Drug Free.” 1950s sock hop clothing showed “San Jacinto Elementary Rocks Drug Free.” Each day, students received gifts purchased from Positive Promotions, such as red ribbons, bookmarks, lollipops, and shaped-rubber wristbands. The school’s technology teacher created a video. In it, “private detectives” on “Mission Red Ribbon” investigated how the drug prevention week started. With the help of a group of students called the iTeam, they also uncovered information about drugs and how to resist them.

Second Prize - Eli Terry Jr. Middle School Terryville, Connecticut

At Eli Terry Jr. Middle School, Red Ribbon Week began with a Red Ribbon Rally. The rally included cheerleaders, the eighth grade band, and the school choruses. A drug enforcement agent spoke to the audience about keeping dreams alive by staying drug free. Then T-shirts, bracelets, and other prizes were thrown into the stands. At the beginning of the week, the school sent home a letter encouraging parents to emphasize anti-drug messages. Each day a flyer was sent home to help parents discuss substance abuse. Students signed pledge sheets to show their commitment; the sheets were arranged into a giant ribbon shape and displayed in the cafeteria. The students also had the opportunity to enter an essay contest, focusing on myths associated with drugs and alcohol. The local police department and its drug-sniffing dog did a presentation, as did the local ambulance corps and the National Guard helicopter crew. Students from a neighboring arts magnet school performed skits and led a discussion. Science teachers conducted lessons on the effects of drugs and alcohol on the body and brain. Terryville’s “school to career” office provided businesses with ribbons and

Second Prize - Westwood Elementary School Friendswood, Texas

Westwood Elementary School combined its drug prevention efforts with character education. The slogan “Being Drug Free Is My Responsibility” was the theme. Inspired by “Color My World Drug Free” products, Red Ribbon Week organizers sent home a worksheet for parents/ guardians to fill out. The sheet asked what their children were doing to color the world with character. The response was amazing; students were affirmed and encouraged by what the adults had to say. Westwood families gathered with families from five other schools to attend a community-wide event, a “Wrap The Town Red” ceremony. There, the mayor spoke, choirs sang, and cheerleaders led chants before the crowd dispersed to wrap red ribbons around town. Back at the school, each day the morning announcements featured information on healthy character choices, including being drug free. Tuesday, students focused on making footsteps worth following when they participated in group walking time, letting good character keep them on track. Wednesday, youth from Friendswood High School treated the elementary students to a “Character Is Our Anti-Drug” pep rally and handed out stickers from Positive Promotions. Thursday, Westwood gave drugs the boot with cowboy wear. Friday, the school honored character role models…grandparents.

Third Prize - J.J. Wessendorff Middle School Rosenberg, Texas

J.J. Wessendorff Middle School took on the issues of drugs and bullying. Red Ribbon Week organizers chose the theme “Let’s Make A Difference: I Can, You Can, And We Can.” The school made a difference to the local food bank by holding a canned food drive. Also, students decorated pumpkins to share with neighboring schools. The youngsters participated in a bullying-prevention seminar and created poems and illustrations on the topic; students with the best creations were awarded “Believe, Achieve, Succeed” silicone bracelets. Classes competed in a door-decorating contest, winning restaurant gift certificates. They also took part in quizzes about drug prevention and received dog tags for the most correct answers. Everyone in the school, including faculty and staff, received red satin ribbons and gold foil stickers. Dress-up days were held throughout the week. The class with the most participation won anti-drug skateboard key tags. On the last day, students wore masks and danced to “Thriller.”

Third Prize - Rufus E. Payne Elementary School Jacksonville, Florida

The Red Ribbon Week activities at Rufus E. Payne Elementary School allowed teachers, staff, parents, and the community to become involved in the students’ pledge to be drug free. Teachers placed pieces of the “Celebrate A Drug Free Life” ribbon roll on all classroom doors. Each grade level created and signed giant paper banners, which were hung in the cafeteria. Students in kindergarten through second grade entered a drawing contest; students in third through fifth grades submitted essays. Winners of the two contests were awarded water bottles. To show that they “Stay On Track For Success—Drug Free,” children and adults wore team sports apparel. The entire school, as well as parents, dressed in red and marched through the streets of Jacksonville, calling attention to Red Ribbon Week. Later, students participated in math lessons that incorporated elements of the march. Teachers read books, articles, and poems to their classes that stressed the importance of keeping away from drugs. And the students completed writing assignments in response to the readings.

Honorable Mention - Satsuma High School Satsuma, Alabama

At Satsuma High School, more than 500 students signed a pledge against drugs. The pledge forms were hung up and lined the hallways. Classes decorated their doors with clever sayings and images. Each day, facts about drugs were read during the announcements. Students participated in poetry, essay, and poster contests. To express “Identify Me…Drug Free,” dog tags were sold on Monday. Students heard “Don’t Be A Dum-Dum, Be Drug Free” as they received dum-dum suckers on Tuesday. They wore anti-drug stickers on Wednesday to show “I’ll Stick To Being Drug Free.” Fuzzy wuzzies on Thursday reminded students to “Believe, Achieve, Succeed Drug Free.” On Friday, “Let Your True Colors Shine Drug Free” pencils helped students “get the point” about avoiding drugs. The FCCLA club showed off its exhibit titled, “If You Abuse, You Will Surely Lose To Prescription Drugs.” The exhibit won first place at the Gulf State Fair.

Honorable Mention - Central Elementary School Beech Grove, Florida

Central Elementary School wanted to increase students’ awareness of positive activities as well as teach how drugs and alcohol affect bodies and minds. Students received “I’ve Got Better Things To Do Than Drugs” ribbon stickers and were asked to write down their favorite activity; the top three activities mentioned were announced. Students also created posters on the subject and wore clothes from their favorite activity. The school counselor held up a fish bowl filled with water, telling students that the bowl represented a drug-free brain. She then added some dirt, which represented drugs or alcohol, so everyone could see how muddy the “brain” becomes. The youngsters were given tasks to complete while “impaired” by “substances.” They finished a relay race with heavy backpacks on, unwrapped candy while wearing large work gloves, ran with a tennis ball between their legs, and walked with a book on their heads.

Very Enlightening

The Red Ribbon Week organizers at Lone Hill Middle School in San Dimas, California, strove to make an impact on the student body. Fifteen sets of speakers visited the campus to share their experiences. Students moved in groups from speaker to speaker. Police officers and fire fighters spoke, as did former drug and alcohol abusers. DEA officers arrived in a helicopter to talk about seizing drugs that were being brought into the United States. High school athletes gave suggestions on avoiding drugs and alcohol that can ruin college dreams. Students were able to have meaningful discussions with the speakers that day. “Believe, Achieve, Succeed Drug Free” items, such as Laminated Tags and Temporary Tattoos, would complement a day of powerful speakers.

On The Move

The Morgan County High School SADD club involved the community of West Liberty, Kentucky, in kicking off Red Ribbon Week. By working with other organizations, SADD members were able to coordinate a 5K Run Away From Drugs and a one mile Fun Run. The runs were open to the public. All children who took part in the one miler received goodie bags with drug-prevention gifts inside. Perhaps you would like to have a running event in your town. Ahead of time, fill goodie bags with items found in the “Life Is A Journey. Travel Drug Free” Theme Kit. Enter teen and adult participants in a drawing for “Life Is A Journey. Travel Drug Free” Mini Flyer Gift Set.