Red Ribbon Week is a celebration in school that promotes a healthy, drug-free lifestyle. The yearly celebration was started in honor of Enrique (Kiki) Camarena, a Drug Enforcement Agency Agent who fought against the effects that drugs and alcohol addiction had on families. Because of his dangerous job, Camarena was killed in 1985. Red Ribbon Week keeps his memory alive and focuses on saving the lives of young people by focusing on healthy alternatives to drugs and alcohol. In school, you can promote a drug-free lifestyle with these activities to celebrate red ribbon week.
Decorate your classroom door.
School-wide door decoration contests can help bring out the drug-free spirit in your students! Allow your students to brainstorm ideas, or save some time and come up with some premade ready to go designs that they can still make their own.
Llamas are totally in now, and I love the Red Ribbon Week theme involving these cute creatures. Llama be drug free lets your students share their own drug-free pledge and reasons to be drug-free on adorable black and white llamas they can decorate themselves.
Taco ‘bout a fun Red Ribbon Week door theme! Say no to drugs and YES to tacos with this taco ‘bout it door theme. Cute black and white decoratable tacos along with two hashtags and writing prompts make this the perfect Red Ribbon Week door theme!
Dress Up Days
One thing your students will love to do during Red Ribbon Week is dress up with special themes. Besides the obvious “red” theme, there are so many different theme days your students can celebrate. Since hats aren’t always allowed in school, “Put a Cap on Drugs” (aka hat day) is often a special treat for kids. Your students will enjoy wearing their favorite sports’ team gear on “Be On the Drug-Free Team Day”. What’s more fun than wearing pajamas to school? “Put Drugs to Sleep” with PJ day! These and other ideas are on RedRibbon.org’s website.
Bring in Law Enforcement
Even if your students haven’t had traditional DARE programs, it’s not too soon to start bringing in law enforcement to talk about the dangers of drugs and alcohol. This can be done at a developmentally appropriate level. These types of programs are not meant to scare the kids, but they’ll get a chance to ask questions and see that drugs and alcohol can affect families and friends in negative ways. Work with your admin and counseling department to help implement this program and provide support to students who might be dealing with addiction of friends and family in their own lives.
Take the Pledge
One important aspect of Red Ribbon Week is taking a drug-free pledge. Put up a banner in the hall or do this individually within your class. Have your students sign (you can too), and pledge to be drug-free. This is an excellent time to talk about what to do if they are confronted with drugs or alcohol in their own life. Peer pressure isn’t what they see in the movies where people might not be someone’s friend if they don’t do drugs. It’s more subtle than that. Your students should recognize that drugs may just be around as they get older, and it’s responsible, safe, and healthy to say no and avoid situations where drugs are present.
These activities to celebrate Red Ribbon Week will help your students understand the dangers of drugs and alcohol while still having a great time! Enjoy decorating your classroom, dressing up, and learning with your students this Red Ribbon Week!