Looking for a great way to promote drug prevention in your community? Look no further than Red Ribbon Week, which will take place from Oct. 23-31.
This year will mark the 27th installment of Red Ribbon Week. The week-long celebration is the largest and longest-running drug prevention campaign in the United States, and urges teachers, parents, students and community members to wear red ribbons as a way to signify their commitment to raising awareness about the negative effects of drug use.
A contest in which kids promote awareness in neighborhoods and enter for a chance to win a $1,000 drug prevention grant for their schools or an iPad will also take place during Red Ribbon Week this year.
According to a Red Ribbon Week press release, this is how the contest works:
• Students must bring the Red Ribbon Week message home by working with parents to decorate their front door, mailbox, fence, etc., with this year’s theme, “The Best Me Is Drug Free.”
• Take a picture that includes both your family and the message, then upload the pic to www.redribbon.org/contest or www.facebook.com/RedRibbonWeek by Friday, Nov. 2 (must be over 18 years of age to upload photos).
• Let the voting begin. Feel free to ask family and friends to vote for your entry at www.redribbon.org/vote anytime from Nov. 2-16. There will be 10 winners from regions across the U.S. Winners will be announced in December.
“Students will once again take Red Ribbon Week’s message of prevention home to their neighborhoods with this national contest,” said Peggy Sapp, volunteer president of National Family Partnership. “By decorating their homes together with this year’s Red Ribbon theme, families carry the message to their communities.”
According to the press release, studies indicate that substance abuse risks lessen when parents talk to their children about the dangers of drugs, and that is the goal of this year’s contest: to encourage families to talk about prevention.
Red Ribbon Week is also in honor of former DEA Special Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, who was abducted and murdered in Mexico in February 1985. In the words of DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart, Camarena “made the ultimate sacrifice to keep our communities safe.”
The DEA will co-sponsor the national contest this year.
“Take the Red Ribbon Week pledge across America to help children grow up safe, healthy and drug free,” Sapp said.