Informed Families Catalyst

Announcing 2015 Florida Red Ribbon Photo Contest Winners

Posted by Informed Families on December 3, 2015 at 5:25 PM

School Entry Winner - Orlando Science Elementary School, Paola Stauffer


Home Entry Winner - Demarco/Reynolds Family, Pompano Beach Elementary


Informed Families is proud to announce the winners of its 2015 Florida Red Ribbon Photo Contest, which takes place as a part of National Red Ribbon Week ® – the nation’s oldest and largest drug prevention campaign. The contest, sponsored by Informed Families/The Florida Family Partnership encouraged families and schools to decorate their homes and classrooms with this year’s Red Ribbon Week theme, “Respect Yourself. Be Drug Free™.” All this was done to promote the commitment to living a healthy and drug-free lifestyle. The winners, who received the most votes in each category (home entries and school entries), earned $1,000 for their schools and an iPad for themselves.

The school entry winner is Orlando Science Elementary School, led by Administrator Paola Stauffer, who coordinated the effort to decorate the front of the school with this year’s Red Ribbon theme. Paola wins an iPad for herself and $1,000 to be used for drug prevention efforts at the school.

“I loved engaging the entire school community in the contest: students, parents, teachers and the administration.” said Paola Stauffer. “I believe if you start educating children early about drug prevention and involving parents, there will be a greater impact.’

Orlando Science Elementary School Principal, Michael Singleton, said he is very proud of his school and impressed by Paola’s efforts to rally the school in support of Red Ribbon Week.

“I am proud that our school won,” said Principal Singleton. “We have a special group of parents, students, and staff who do what it takes to be successfully, both academically and socially. There is a lot of hard work that goes into Red Ribbon Week and it’s nice to see a direct reward for this team effort.”

The home entry winner in the Florida Red Ribbon Photo Contest is the Demarco/Reynolds family. Pompano Beach Elementary School students, Drew, Abby and Stephen Reynolds, and their family, decorated their home fence with this year’s Red Ribbon theme and ultimately won an iPad and $1,000 for their school, from Informed Families.

“What I liked most about my kids participating in the contest was the theme: ‘Respect Yourself. Be Drug Free,’” said Tina Demarco, Drew, Abby and Stephen’s mother. “I want my children to know that they can be themselves. They don’t need to do drugs to fit in with other people.”

Pompano Beach Elementary School Principal Stephen P. Larson expressed his excitement about the win and the financial support for his school.

“We were thrilled to learn that one of our parents thought enough about the importance of drug education, our students, and our community to enter the statewide contest,” said Principal Stephen P. Larson. “It is indeed a powerful demonstration showing the influence that one person and one family can have on our community. We are excited about the opportunity to invest in current drug prevention materials and the potential that these funds can have on our school.”

National Red Ribbon Week began in 1985 and was started by the National Family Partnership in response to the abduction and murder of DEA Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena. Since its inception, the campaign has touched millions of lives to promote and celebrate drug free living. Informed Families is the Florida Sponsor of the campaign each year.

“An estimated 80 million people celebrate Red Ribbon Week each year,” said Informed Families President & CEO Peggy Sapp. “We designed the contest to bring the Red Ribbon message home and to give parents a chance to talk about the dangers of drug abuse. By receiving the same message at home, in school and in the community, children are significantly more likely to really hear and benefit from the prevention message.”

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Topics: red ribbon week, respect, photo contest, drug prevention

Florida Schools & Communities Wrapped In Red Ribbon

Posted by Informed Families on November 21, 2015 at 12:42 PM

Families, schools and communities across Florida demonstrated their commitment to a Drug-Free America during 2015 Red Ribbon Week® (October 23-31). Informed Families, Florida's Red Ribbon Week sponsor, partnered with Ambassadors, agencies, organizations and businesses, leveraging resources and reaching more children and families with prevention messages. Red Ribbon Week was created after the death of DEA Special Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, who was kidnapped, tortured and killed in Mexico, 30 years ago. The National Red Ribbon Campaign®, sponsored by the National Family Partnership, is the oldest and largest drug prevention program in the nation, with an estimated 80 million people celebrating each year.

Here are some highlights from 2015 Red Ribbon Week:

  • Informed Families equipped schools across Florida with tool kits, featuring youth pledges, posters, parent flyers, morning announcements, newsletter entries, activity guides and more, through our Ambassador Program.
  • Families and schools across the State entered Informed Families’ Florida Red Ribbon Photo Contest, which offered experiential learning while delivering the 2015 National theme message: “Respect Yourself. Be Drug Free.” The theme was created by a middle school student in Solon, Ohio. The school entry and home entry with the most votes in Florida will receive an iPad and $1,000 for a local K-12 school, courtesy of Informed Families. Stay tuned for the announcement of the winners in early December.
  • Informed Families partnered with Discovery Education to promote its Red Ribbon Week- themed “Virtual Field Trip,” featuring a police canine training facility, to educators across Florida. Hundreds of Florida classrooms participated.
  • Whole Foods Coral Gables selected Informed Families to be the recipient of its Donate Your Dime campaign during the month of October and for the remainder of 2015.
  • Over $15,000 was raised by Informed Families and 30 Florida schools participating in the first ever Red Ribbon Walk & Wrap program, which supports local school projects and Statewide substance abuse prevention programs.
  • Several schools were honored for being Red Ribbon Certified Schools, a designation given to schools who demonstrate year-round prevention excellence.

“Red Ribbon Week is and always has been a Prevention Delivery System,” said Informed Families President & CEO Peggy Sapp in her October President’s Message. “Through grassroots support in schools and communities, Red Ribbon Week sets the stage for parents, educators and community members to have open and honest conversations with their children about making healthy choices.”

Most importantly, Informed Families thanks the parents/caregivers, educators and concerned citizens who used Red Ribbon Week as an opportunity to talk to the children in their lives about the importance of being safe, healthy and drug free.

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Topics: red ribbon week, respect

President's Message - October 2015

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on October 27, 2015 at 3:54 PM

Social Media Demonstrates Power of Grassroots during Red Ribbon Week®

30 years have passed since DEA Special Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena was kidnapped, tortured and killed in Mexico. Kiki’s tragic death led to the creation of the Red Ribbon Campaign®, now the oldest and largest drug prevention program in the nation. The National Family Partnership (NFP) turned Red Ribbon Week into a national event in 1988 and has sponsored it since that time. Many of you know that I’m proud to serve as NFP’s Volunteer President.

Times have changed since we started Red Ribbon. Red Ribbon Week is stronger than ever and I believe the internet and social media play a huge role. This year’s theme, created by a middle school student in Solon, Ohio, is “Respect Yourself. Be Drug Free.” The internet and social media are allowing us to see, in real time, many of the Red Ribbon Week activities, curriculum and events taking place in schools and communities across America. Parents, students, educators and community supporters from across America are sharing pictures, videos, ideas, articles and other content on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, featuring this year’s theme.

Additionally, NFP thanks the agencies, organizations, and businesses who are doing their part to spread the message. Fran Harding, director of the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, and Chuck Rosenberg, acting administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration co-authored a blog (shared below) entitled “Red Ribbon Week Reminds Us to Respect Ourselves by Living Drug-Free.” Discovery Education is hosting a Red Ribbon Week themed “Virtual Field Trip” and over 5000 educators and students will be viewing a lesson on Thursday. The National Institute on Drug Abuse is sharing tools for Red Ribbon Week, including interactive games and videos. Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America blogged about our 5th Annual National Red Ribbon Photo Contest.

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Topics: President's Message, red ribbon, red ribbon week, children, respect, nida, dea

About Us

We teach people how to say no to drugs and how to make healthy choices. To reduce the demand for drugs, Informed Families has focused its efforts on educating and mobilizing the community, parents and young people in order to change attitudes. In this way we counteract the pressures in society that condone and promote drug and alcohol use and abuse. The organization educates thousands of families annually about how to stay drug and alcohol free through networking and a variety of programs and services .

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