Owen Dubé left, Braeden Grothause and Carson Gilchrist show their enthusiasm for “pajama day.”
FORT JENNINGS — Fort Jennings Elementary School’s Red Ribbon Week themed “Life is Made up of Choices; Choose Wisely,” kicked off Monday and will run through Sunday. Students are encouraged to participate in the week- long campaign with special-themed days. Monday was “Shadow yourself from drugs,” where students wore hats or wigs to school. The “pajama party”, held on Tuesday, was part of the “I don’t sleep with drugs” theme. Today, students were permitted to chew sugar-free gum signifying the ”Chew away the drugs” theme. “Sit out on drugs,” the activity for Thursday, allows students to sit anywhere at lunch. Lastly, on Friday, students are encouraged to wear sweats or school spirit wear for the “I don’t sweat drugs” theme.
Mrs. Kaverman’s first- grade class has been ecstatic about participating in the activities. The students enthusiastically proclaimed that pajama day was their favorite event. Each day begins with a morning announcement instilling a drug-free message into their young minds, which spurs a lot of questions.
“I can’t remember not doing it [Red Ribbon Week],” Kaverman said in retrospect. “The kids get so excited. They sign a pledge. Each day, we see them processing information and asking questions.
Fifth- and sixth-graders were also pumped up about the activities during the week. Moreover, they expressed the importance of delivering the drug-free message to younger kids and hoping that it will detour them from trying drugs. The kids are given wristbands, a handbook and other fun items which serve as reminders.
“My favorite thing is the bookmark we received,” Pack exclaimed, “and it is titled ‘101 things to do instead of drugs’ and describes blowing bubbles as one thing [alternative] to do.”
National Family Partnership was established as a grassroots, nonprofit organization in 1980 by a handful of concerned and determined parents who were convinced they should begin to play a leadership role in drug prevention. Nancy Reagan was an Honorary Chair of NFP. Since its founding 30 years ago, NFP has devoted its efforts to the well-being of youth. Today, NFP is a national leader in drug prevention education and advocacy. The organization’s mission is to lead and support our nation’s families and communities in nurturing the full potential of healthy, drug-free youth.
NFP provides drug awareness by sponsoring the annual National Red Ribbon Celebration. Since its beginning in 1985, the Red Ribbon has touched the lives of millions of people around the world. In response to the murder of DEA Agent Enrique Camarena, angered parents and youth in communities across the country began wearing Red Ribbons as a symbol of their commitment to raise awareness of the killing and destruction caused by drugs in America.
In 1988, NFP sponsored the first National Red Ribbon Celebration. Today, the Red Ribbon serves as a catalyst to mobilize communities to educate youth and encourage participation in drug prevention activities.
NFP is active in bringing the concerns and agenda of America’s parents and families to policy makers on a local, state and national level. Joining NFP enables parents and coalitions to have direct access to our nation’s leaders and decision makers.
For more information visit redribbon.org/about/.