Get REDy For Red Ribbon Week

By Michael Lerner
Thursday, October 17th 2019

quest to succeed through elementary and middle schools. Unfortunately, the new school year also holds opportunity for those involved with drugs. Those looking to attract new buyers from schools need only leverage the fresh class to exploit fears, lack of confidence and desire to fit in. Dealers will be looking to hook new students and it is important to head them off before they can make contact.

Tying in an aggressive anti-drug campaign to the beginning of the school year can help suppress some of the risk associated. Educators can reach out to classes with a message of prevention, influencing them to say no to drugs and the problems that they bring. In addition to the yearlong promotional effort, there can be benchmark events such as Red Ribbon Week in October to build excitement. Celebrated from October 23-31st, this nationawide push for drug prevention in schools and communities brings the anti drug message to students from elementary classes through high school. The symbol of the red ribbon can be seen adorning the grounds and classrooms of schools that celebrate the event, making it evident and noticeable that they have declared their community a drug free zone.

Part of holding a successful Red Ribbon Week event is having plenty of ribbons to distribute to students, teachers and parents before and during the celebration. Stocking up before the start of the school year is a great way to get a head start on preparation. Starting off with a theme selection, organizers can work with students and teachers to choose a fun and meaningful slogan and design for the red ribbon. After the slogan and concept has been chosen, volunteer artists from the community or even student body can submit designs to compete for the annual red ribbon contest. Whether chosen by committee or put to a vote, the winning logo design can be printed on custom red ribbons and other giveaways. Distributed in anticipation of Red Ribbon Week, they can help build excitement and increase participation in the anti drug event.

Tying in an aggressive anti-drug campaign to the beginning of the school year can help suppress some of the risk associated. Educators can reach out to classes with a message of prevention, influencing them to say no to drugs and the problems that they bring. In addition to the yearlong promotional effort, there can be benchmark events such as Red Ribbon Week in October to build excitement. Educational anti-drug coloring books along with creative projects that promote a drug free life can welcome students back to the new year.

While the red ribbon reminders may seem trivial to some, if the impact of wearing pledges to steer clear of drugs influences just one student, they have done their job. Custom wrist bands, ribbons, and other red reminders can last long beyond the October event, serving to constantly deliver the message of "saying no." Reinforcing the idea that is is cool to stay drug free can build a foundation in elementary and middle school children that will carry on into the more difficult high school years, where peer pressure may be at its peak.

Making a serious message into a fun celebration is one way of creating an easy to digest, student friendly education experience. The topic of drug abuse and its impact on society may be a bit too heavy for elementary school age children. Celebrating Red Ribbon Week through theme days and group activities make the message easy to teach and interesting for the students.

Red Ribbon Week theme days start by determining a way that the entire school can show their participation, such as wearing "funky" socks. Then coordinators can come up with a catchy slogan to tie the theme into the activity. "Sock It To Drugs" is a slogan that ties in nicely to funky sock day, keeping the event focused on drug prevention at the same time. Supporting the theme day with promotional giveaways can keep the message going all year long. A silicone bracelet, imprinted with a custom anti drug slogan will be worn throughout the year, a constant reminder of the fun that was had during Red Ribbon Week and the drug free message that it delivered.

Other theme days include crazy hat day, wearing clothes backwards to show how "backwards" drug use really is and there are giant poster signing days that have the entire class or school make their pledge to a drug free way of life. For more ideas on Celebrating Red Ribbon Week, click here.