Rancho Santa Fe’s R. Roger Rowe School will kick off its annual Red Ribbon Week on Monday, Oct. 29. This year’s theme is “Be Strong, Be Brave, Be Proud, Say NO!”
Red Ribbon Week is a national campaign promoting drug, tobacco and alcohol abuse prevention and awareness in youths and their parents. More critically, this educational campaign encourages students of every age to choose to live healthy and positive lives and provides parents with the tools to help. For older students, making healthy choices include saying “NO” to drugs, tobacco and alcohol. For younger students, healthy choices involve taking care of their bodies, good nutrition and fire prevention.
Each day of Red Ribbon Week, the school will sponsor different events and activities to demonstrate to students the importance of making healthy choices in their own lives. Students will tie red ribbons to the fences to indicate they have pledged to be drug free. Students in grades K-4 will hang “hand print” banners outside on the courtyard railings to indicate their pledge to make healthy choices. Students in grades 5-8 will turn in entries to an optional essay contest about what choices they will make in their lives that will always help to keep them alcohol, tobacco and drug free.
Jamba Juice will be sold outside the PAC ($2 for 8 oz.). Proceeds benefit Hope2gether, a non-profit founded by Sherrie and Aaron Rubin to educate and raise awareness about the rising abuse of prescription drugs.
The school’s daily dress themes as follows: Monday: “Turn Your Back on Drugs,” (wear cloths backward); Tuesday: “Hats Off to Good Choices,” (wear your favorite hat); Wednesday – Halloween Carnival (no Red Ribbon dress theme); Thursday – “Wear Red,”; and Friday – “Too Bright to do Drugs” (wear bright clothing).
Red Ribbon Week commemorates the memory of Drug Enforcement Agent, Kiki Camarena, who was murdered by the drug cartel in Mexico in 1985. Red Ribbon Week started as a national response to his killing. Special Agent Camarena was an 11-year veteran of the DEA assigned to the Guadalajara, Mexico, office where he was on the trail of the country’s biggest marijuana and cocaine traffickers. In 1985, he was extremely close to unlocking a multi-billion dollar drug pipeline.
On Feb. 7, 1985, he was kidnapped, brutally tortured, and murdered by Mexican drug traffickers. His tragic death opened the eyes of many Americans to the dangers of drugs, and the international scope of the drug trade. Shortly after Kiki Camarena’s death, Congressman Duncan Hunter and Camarena’s high school friend Henry Lozano launched “Camarena Clubs” in his hometown of Calexico, California. Hundreds of club members pledged to lead drug free lives to honor the sacrifice made by Kiki Camarena.