By Rancho Santa Fe Education Foundation
Rancho Santa Fe’s R. Roger Rowe School will hold its annual Red Ribbon Week campaign Oct. 28 through Nov. 1. Red Ribbon Week is a national campaign promoting drug, alcohol, and tobacco abuse prevention and awareness in schools and communities. It is the oldest and largest drug prevention campaign in the country, and typically takes places the last week of October. The campaign serves as an opportunity for schools and communities to encourage students to achieve their hopes and dreams by making the commitment to live healthy, drug-free lives.
The tradition of Red Ribbon Week began as a way to commemorate the life and death of DEA Special Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena who, in 1985, died at the hands of drug traffickers in Mexico while fighting the battle of illegal drugs. Within weeks of his death, a high school friend of Camarena began Camarena Clubs in Southern California, inspiring hundreds of club members to make a pledge to live drug-free lives. The clubs began to wear red ribbons of satin to commemorate Camarena and their pledge to say no to drugs, and the tradition eventually grew to a national campaign now known as Red Ribbon Week. It is the hope of Red Ribbon Week founders that it will not only inspire and encourage youth to live healthy, successful and drug-free lives, but will also aid in reducing the demand for drugs and minimize the drug cartels brutal and deadly control of the drug market.
R. Roger Rowe School is proudly participating in this national campaign with week-long student activities and events designed to bring awareness and education to students and inspire them to just say “NO” and make healthy choices. This year’s theme is “Too Smart to Start, Be Drug Free!” Each day the students will participate in various activities and show their commitment by adhering to fun and creative dress codes. Monday, students will wear their “Kind to the Core” t-shirts. Tuesday, students will wear sneakers to support the pledge “Don’t let drugs sneak up on you!” Wednesday is ‘Wear Red” day, Thursday is the Halloween Carnival, and Friday students will wear bright colors in support of the pledge “Too bright to do drugs!”
Further activities include an essay contest, hanging “hand-print” banners on the courtyard railings showing student’s individual promises to remain drug and alcohol free, and hanging red ribbons on fences. On Tuesday the Brock Edwards Magic Show will perform in a special assembly for grades K-5, demonstrating healthy choices through magic. On Wednesday, 6-8th grade classes will attend a special assembly featuring visiting high school seniors discussing their strategies in maintaining drug-free lifestyles. Jamba Juice will be on sale each day in the school courtyard from 2:20-3:15 p.m. except Thursday, when the school will be holding its annual Halloween Carnival. A portion of proceeds from Jamba Juice sales will be donated to Sole Hope, a non-profit organization committed to providing closed-toe shoes for African children.
Red Ribbon Week is a wonderful opportunity for schools and families to educate our youth regarding the power of positive choices in leading healthy and successful lives. Encouraging our youth to make the commitment to remain drug, alcohol, and tobacco free is a powerful message and will encourage our youth to make the right decisions, and R. Roger Rowe is proud to participate in this positive and valuable campaign.