Did You Get The Red Ribbon Message?
Did You Pass It On Correctly?
During Red Ribbon Week®, the red ribbon is used to symbolize the importance of a healthy, drug free lifestyle. This year’s theme, YOLO. Be Drug Free.® was created by two sixth graders in Claysburg, Pennsylvania. It reminds us to take care of our minds and our bodies.
Years ago I directed an after-school program. No matter how hard I tried to educate and set my students on a path to success, if their parents or caregivers weren’t delivering the same message at home, the work was exponentially harder. Furthermore, when our overall environment is sending conflicting, unhealthy messages, we are stressed and challenged. I do believe that one person can make a difference in a child’s life, but by partnering with parents and improving community messaging, the likelihood of raising safe, healthy, drug free kids is vastly improved.
Messages and policies are important and go hand in hand.
Do a community scan…what do you see? More liquor stores than churches? Hmmm, there’s lots of things each of us can do:
- Talk to your local liquor store and ask them to participate in the Sticker Shock Campaign.
- Consider your position on the legalization of Marijuana. The two drivers of drug use are you thinking it’s safe and if it’s available. Both of these drivers of drug use will happen after legalization. Don’t just give in and vote yes because you are tired of hearing about Amendment 2.
- Ask your local school board and superintendent to support Informed Families’ drug prevention education.
- Support drug courts, which focus on the treatment of individuals arrested for drug-related crimes versus incarceration.
During Red Ribbon Week, we ask you – parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers, educators, corporate citizens, law enforcement, faith based leaders and neighbors – to deliver the same message in your home, schools and communities. We are all so busy – and parents, especially, are uniquely overwhelmed – and yet, it is crucial that we express our disapproval of illicit drug use and our support for healthy, drug free lifestyles.
Want a fun way to do just that? Enter the National Red Ribbon Photo Contest. Informed Families will be giving out a special prize to the top school entry and the top home entry in Florida. You can win an iPad and a local K-12 school can win $1,000 for drug prevention.
Our children have the right to grow up drug free and we have the responsibility to make that happen.
So tell us what you are doing for Red Ribbon Week! We look forward to hearing from you.Sincerely,