Home Local News Red Ribbon Week 2017: “Your Future is Key, So Stay Drug Free!”

Red Ribbon Week 2017: “Your Future is Key, So Stay Drug Free!”

Hamlet Middle School had their own twist to "Red Ribbon Week". This photo was taken on Friday, October 27 for Friday's "Breast Cancer Awareness" day.

HAMLET — As October is often times most associated with the colors of Halloween or breast cancer awareness, there’s another color that’s making waves in schools across Richmond County. And the color is red.

“Red Ribbon Week,” which is an anti-drug initiative, blossomed from The National Family Partnership, which was established in 1980. It started as the National Federation of Parents for Drug Free Youth by parents who believed it was time to step up and advocate for drug prevention within their communities. Former First Lady Nancy Raegan was an Honorary Chair of the organization.

The organization is now a national leader in the education of drug prevention and advocacy for such education. The NFP has one goal, and that is to help communities become drug free and promote healthy lifestyles for youth.

Since its founding the NFP has had continuous growth in partners ranging from local coalitions to parent committees that consist of parents, youths, and other volunteers who come together to create a network that strives to be a consistent voice for health and support.

One way that the NFP promotes awareness is through the annual National Red Ribbon Week. This campaign began in 1985 in response to the murder of DEA Agent Enrique Camarena. To raise awareness for the destruction drugs have in America people wore red ribbons, and in 1988 NFP began sponsoring the campaign.

Now, Red Ribbon Week is a time when communities talk and educate the youth on drug prevention.

In Richmond County, many schools align their spirit week with the drug prevention campaign.

This year the theme of Red Ribbon Week was “Your future is Key, So Stay Drug Free!” The theme was created by middle school student Iris Yu from Ohio.

According to the program’s website, when coming up with the theme, Yu said, “I think drug prevention is important because [drug use] has been popularized by pop culture and the media. I came up with the theme first considering what doing drugs would affect” she continued, “and the obvious answer was your future.”

Hamlet Middle School, among several other schools in the county, decided to add their own twist to the week by having a theme for each day. The days were listed as follows:

  • Monday: “Be All You Can Be-Drug Free!”
  • Tuesday: “Drugs are Tacky.”
  • Wednesday: “United We Stand Against Bullying and Drugs”
  • Thursday “Too Smart to do Drugs”
  • Friday “Breast Cancer Awareness”

Faculty participated, along with students to raise awareness and keep the kids excited.

Media Specialist Andrea Nordberg stated that red ribbon week is fun for the kids.

“It gives them a visual and physical reminder of how insane it is to do drugs,” Nordberg said. “Students get so excited to dress up, and their effort to match the theme of the day instills the day’s slogan into their mind.”

Eighth grader Kiersten Gibson added on to what Nordberg said by exclaiming that she, “loved to dress up and have fun, but it was nice learning to say no to drugs at the same time.”

Next week Hamlet Middle School will be hosting its Title I night for parents and families to come out and hear about the good things going on in the school, as well as look around the book fair. The night will be on November 8, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. right after the home football game against cross-county rivals, Rockingham Rockets.

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