Red Ribbon Week urges youth to live a positive lifestyle

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Whether it is breast cancer, domestic violence or anti-bullying, October is a month to raise awareness and funds for causes that we are all passionate about.

Here at Champions, we are particularly excited about raising awareness for Red Ribbon Week, which is celebrated nationally every year Oct. 23-31. This is a national campaign to teach students the dangers of drugs and alcohol.

Champions partners with other community partners to decide what dates would be best within our district. This year we chose Oct. 28-Nov. 1.

For as long as I can remember, Red Ribbon Week was always held in Carroll County schools and surrounding districts. It encouraged student and staff participation to help raise awareness in the fight to diminish drug and alcohol use among students.

But, do you know why Red Ribbon Week started? It began after the kidnapping, torture and murder of DEA agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena in 1985. Camarena had been working undercover in Guadalajara, Mexico, for more than four years. His efforts led to a tip that resulted in the discovery of a multi-million dollar narcotics manufacturing operation in Chihuahua, Mexico. The successful eradication of this and other drug production operations angered leaders of several drug cartels who sought revenge. As a result, they murdered key informants out of anger.

So, not only are we raising awareness to halt substance abuse in our community, we also are honoring a name that inspire this week a tradition across the nation.

We are gearing up to celebrate Red Ribbon Week in every school and business within Carroll County. The 2013 theme is “A Healthy Me is Drug Free.” The dress-up days for schools are as follows:

Monday: Polka Dot Day- (Spot Me Being Drug Free)

Tuesday: Career Day

Wednesday: Wear Red Day

Thursday: Scare Away Drugs Day (Wear an appropriate costume.)

Friday: Too Bright for Drugs- Wear Neon Colors Day

Winners will be judged and chosen during lunch waves for most creative outfit/costume by a designated school official/staff member.

The following are other Red Ribbon Week activities:

“Photo Frenzy.” An activity sponsored by Champions allowing students to post photos to the “Carroll County Champions” Facebook page. Students can post photos (after being approved by the page’s adminisrators) of themselves or peers taking part in Red Ribbon Week or a positive lifestyle from Oct. 28 – Nov. 1. You also can mention the photos on Twitter by adding “@DrugFreeCarroll” and put them on our Instagram by adding CarrollCountyChampions.

There will be a door decorating contest for Carroll County Middle School and Carroll County High School.

Decorate your home room/first period classroom door. Your door must depict the 2013 theme, “A Healthy Me is Drug Free.” Doors may be decorated starting Oct. 23, and will be judged on Oct. 31.

The first-place winner from both schools will win a

prize from Champions. Remember: Be creative and have fun.

Poster Display: Join Champions for a Drug Free Carroll County and “Paint the Town RED!” Participate in Red Ribbon Week by obtaining a poster board from your school office, Family Resource Center or Champions Office. Then decorate your poster to depict our Red Ribbon Week theme. Although the actual poster contest deadline has passed, we encourage you to still submit a poster to let us hang up at a local business within Carroll County.

An opportunity for parents to get involved is to sign “the pledge” online. Sign “The Pledge” at redribbon.org/pledge/. The link will also be available on our school website and Facebook Page, “Carroll County Champions.” We encourage parents, students, school staff/administration and local business owners to get involved as well.

More than 30 businesses received letters at the beginning of the month asking for their involvement by giving a student a special discount if they wear their red ribbon into their business or by offering a small prize. Staff and administration can jump on board by offering their students extra credit if they participate in the door decorating contest or wearing their ribbon every day of the week. Staff also is encouraged to dress up with the students on the dress up days.

Champions is still organizing Kentucky State Police troopers and other community officials, including members of the Carrollton Police Department and Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, to read to some of our younger students during the week, as well as sending anti-drug messages over the announcements at our schools. They are excited to be a part of Red Ribbon Week and to read literature to our students about making positive choices.

There will be various advertisements for RR Week throughout the schools, including on bulletin boards, fliers and banners. There also will be giveaways and free red ribbons given to every student. Please call Coordinator Hayley Franklin or Assistant Coordinator Kimberly Fain with any questions or concerns at (502) 525-3571. The office phone is temporarily out of service, due to an office move.


Hayley Franklin is coordinator of Champions for a Drug Free Carroll County.