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Chatham schools celebrate annual Red Ribbon Week

Posted Thursday, November 8, 2012

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Pittsboro, NC - Many students in Chatham County Schools saw red recently, but it was all in the name of drug education. Red Ribbon Week, the national celebration for alcohol and other drug prevention, has for the past 27 years been the time when communities send a clear and strong message to young people about the dangers of alcohol, tobacco and other drug use. In partnership with Chatham Drug Free, Chatham County Schools celebrated the week from October 22 through November 2.

As part of the educational undertaking for the week, several Chatham County Schools had activities planned to help students understand the dangers involved with alcohol and other drug use.

“Getting students to understand the dangers of using drugs is important in helping them resist the temptation to experiment,” said George Greger-Holt, Executive Director of Student Services and Support Programs for the school system. “Counselors, teachers and students in the schools worked hard to plan activities for the entire week,” he continued.

In addition, SADD, Students Against Destructive Decisions, in all three high schools conducted activities for high school students. “We are very happy to have SADD clubs active in the high schools to help spread the message to their peers,” said Rob Schooley, Student Assistance Instructor for the school system.

“Each school designed a week of fun but educational activities,” added Susan Powell, Chatham Drug Free Coordinator. “Most schools used theme days to get students attention. Pledge cards, morning announcements, assemblies and guest speakers in classrooms were also used,” she continued.

Funds from Chatham Drug Free and the Chatham County and Siler City ABC Boards were used to purchase supplies such as pencils, bookmarks, temporary tattoos and other drug free prizes and gifts. The Civitans provided coloring books for elementary students as well. Students wore red ribbons all week.

Theme days included things like Wear Red Day, Team Up Against Drugs Day, Follow Your Dreams Day, Sock it To Drugs Day, Use Your Head - Don’t Use Drugs, Give Drugs the Slip (wear slippers), I’ve Got Better Things to Do Than Drugs, Make Healthy Choices – Stay Drug Free, Successful Students Don’t Use Drugs, Turn Your Back on Drugs, Living Drug Free is No Sweat, Show Great Character - Live a Drug Free Life and Say Boo to Drugs (Halloween theme).

In addition to the theme days, here’s a sample of the programs conducted.

Pittsboro Elementary School students heard classroom guidance lessons centered on healthy choices, learning about how to safely take medicine and also drug and alcohol prevention. Each morning started off with developmentally appropriate announcements about safe choices. Spirit week was celebrated everyday, with students entered into a drawing for Red Ribbon prizes.

Moncure School conducted a Sock it to Drugs Day where everyone wore crazy socks. Also the students loved watching the video, “The Boy Who Was Swallowed by the Drug Monster.” The students loved doing different activity sheets and receiving their special gifts throughout the week about saying No to Drugs.

Horton Middle School conducted Hooked on Books! and Dress for Success Day! Students were encouraged to bring their favorite book to read during Homeroom time. Students were also encouraged to dress their best (professional business attire) and look ready for success.

J. S. Waters’ students participated in creating a bulletin board. The Art teacher, Ms. Townsend, held a poster contest in which she chose the best 'Red Ribbon' themed poster from grades K-2, 3-4, 5-6, and 7-8. Winners had their posted displayed on the board. In addition, each student and staff member signed the board, which embodied their vow to stay drug free. The board turned out great and the students loved being able to write all over it! Students also tied red ribbons on every car in the parking lot.

Bonlee students celebrated Red Ribbon Week by wearing red bracelets for Pink Out For Breast Cancer. They also participated in a poster contest. Each grade level had a theme. Winners were chosen from each grade level and each received a $10 gift card for Wal-Mart. Junior Beta Club students made posters celebrating red ribbon week to put around the school. They also hung all the posters that were entered for the poster contest.

Siler City Elementary conducted a Red Ribbon hunt, where each teacher received a red ribbon to hide in his/her classroom. The winner from each room received a snack voucher for the cafeteria. Each teacher then talked to the students about why we celebrate Red Ribbon Week.

Bennett conducted a school wide "Walk Away From Drugs." Pre-K through 8th grade all wore tennis shoes as they walked laps around the school. Students got water bottles with the logo of the Walk Away Campaign for drug awareness with the school name and the year. Eighth grade students helped set up the walk. They gave out stickers, had balloons with drug free slogans, did raffle drawings, played music, had a tattoo station with drug free tattoo messages and then 8th graders paired up to help count laps for the students as they walked.

Chatham Central students declared War on Drugs by wearing camouflage one day and wearing neon on another to signify. “Keep Your Future Bright, Just Say NO to Drugs!”

At SAGE, students participated in a Health Fair focused on exactly what healthy choices look like and how to make them, along with the fact that being healthy is fun! Nine members of the community as well as several school staff members led 20-minute sessions on 7 special topics concerning the total health of a person. Subjects that were covered were: personal health/vital signs and hygiene, emotional health, living above the influence, fitness, nutrition, healthy relationships and dental hygiene. In addition: The SADD group designed custom lanyards that were made and distributed to the entire school and staff. Chief Tyson from the Siler City police department came and spoke with students about the importance of making healthy choices. He also discussed consequences for getting involved with drugs or drunk driving.

Silk Hope students participated in a poem competition. Students wrote poems for the announcements each day that week (Grades 4-8). At the end of the week, students signed the banner pledge. All during the week, students participated in a trivia contest as well.

At Margaret Pollard Middle School students participated in a Door Decoration Contest and Essay Contest with the topic, “Red Ribbon Week focuses on making healthy choices and staying drug-free. Explain three healthy choices you make that help you stay drug free?”

Space doesn’t allow us to list all the activities that took place during this year’s Red Ribbon week. Please contact the counselor at your child’s school for a more complete schedule.

“We know that students are faced with the decision about whether to experiment with alcohol and other drugs at earlier and earlier ages,” said Greger-Holt. “Our hope is that with repeated emphasis on the dangers of alcohol and other drug use, we can help students be prepared for this important decision.”

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Chatham schools celebrate annual Red Ribbon Week
In partnership with Chatham Drug Free, Chatham County Schools celebrated Red Ribbon Week from October 22 through November 2.
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