Red Ribbon Week Top 10 Celebration Ideas

2010.rrw.centen.pngRed Ribbon Week, celebrated October 23-31 every year, is a time set aside by schools, police departments and community centers to encourage children, families, and every member of the community to take a stand against the use and abuse of drugs and narcotics.

The event was created to honor the life of US Drug Enforcement Agent, Enrique Camerena, who was ambushed and murdered by drug lords in Mexico back in 1985. Red ribbons were worn to honor his memory, and the practice continues today. This year's Red Ribbon Week theme is "I Believe in Me, Drug Free". But there are dozens of great themes to tie your campaign to.

As this event has grown, the message has remained the same. Illegal drug use effects everyone. Individuals, no matter their age, do not suffer alone. Families, coworkers and friends all have to witness the effects of a drug user's habits. As an educator or community leader, you can do your part by sending early messages to the students in our schools. Here are some effective and fun ways to help celebrate Red Ribbon Week:

Wear Red Day - In addition to passing out red ribbons with drug free messages on them, have everyone in your school wear red clothing to school. Hold a kick-off event in your gymnasium or auditorium. The sea of red shirts will be quite impressive. Take plenty of photos and display throughout the school and also submit to your local newspaper or media company.

Hang Banners & Posters - Red Ribbon Week message banners will surely be seen in the hallways and cafeteria of your school, but hanging them outside of your school will get the attention of every passersby. Banners not only are effective, but they last a long time, so you can bring them out every year for your celebration. Place them on fences, in the gym, hallway and entry way. Students and teachers can design and create effective posters to hang that will convey what is truly in their hearts.

Keep It Festive! - This event is a celebration of life! People are happier without drugs. Decorate your facility with red balloons and ribbon streamers. Line cafeteria tables with red table cloths to keep the message going during lunch breaks.

Make It Sweet - Distribute candy such as red anti-drug message lollipops and special Red Ribbon Week chocolate bars wrapped with inspirational messages that say no to drugs and yes to making positive choices.

Hold an Athletic Event - Red Ribbon Week is all about good health and what is healthier than races or a special field day event? Have a potato sack race, tug a war contest or limbo race.

Recognize Brain Power - Hold spelling bees with key words featuring better things to do than drugs. Have a math contest or trivia questions with prizes for the winners.

Smile and Say Cheese - Have students bring in baby pictures and have a guess the baby contest. Hand out picture frames that say "Born To Be Drug Free" printed on them as prizes for everyone. The kids can look into the mirror of their past and see a bright future!

Silly Ideas They Will Remember - Crazy hat day, red sock day and wear clothes backwards day ("don't let drugs take you backwards") all leave a lasting impression on young minds.

Shade Out Drugs - Hand out sunglasses to every student so they can feel "cool" without using drugs.

Finish The Week With A Treat - A Trick or Treat, that is. Halloween caps off National Red Ribbon Week, so tie your "say boo to drugs" message to a fun costume parade. Invite parents to come and encourage teachers and school staff to participate as well. What better way to show your community's committment to celebrating life, drug free.

The time to send your message starts when students are young. Added encouragement along the way along with strong family participation will help the youth of today achieve their goals in life without the need for drugs. Don't miss out on the chance to spread the world during Red Ribbon Week.