Red Ribbon Week, celebrated annually each year during the month of October, is the nation’s oldest and largest drug prevention awareness campaign. This program offers an excellent opportunity for parents, educators, and community organizations to raise consciousness about the dangers of drugs and tobacco use.
Achievement House Cyber Charter School’s 2021 Red Ribbon Week celebration featured informative daily activities and useful presentations for all students as well as a week-long art contest sponsored by Compass Mark, a non-profit organization that provides evidence-based programs to help prevent addition. In keeping with the spirit of this year’s Red Ribbon Week theme, “Drug Free Looks Like Me” art contest participants submitted an original piece on what this year’s theme personally meant to them. Acceptable submissions included a Tik Tok video, painting, poem, rap, or collage. Overall, there were ten winners who received AHCCS swag bags and Barnes and Noble gift cards.
Among the Art Contest winners was AHCCS 10th grader Fatima Aleman and 11th grader Ranaiyah Mobley. Fatima submitted a collage piece which included images of Disney’s beloved Mickey and Minnie Mouse, and also incorporated tips on how to stay drug free. Raaniyah created a Red Ribbon Week themed cartoon illustration.
Fatima said, “I really liked the activity that we did. I found some fun facts and based on those facts I continued from there and had fun with it.”
Fatima and Ranaiyah both expressed how they really enjoyed creating their pieces for the Art Contest, and believe it is important for our school to hold week-long events like Red Ribbon Week.
Ranaiyah stated, “I think it is important because it reminds us to not partake in drugs.” And Fatima said, “Learning at an early age can help you become better at making good decisions instead of bad choices.”
This weeklong celebration promoted living a healthy lifestyle and provided multiple opportunities to talk and with students. AHCCS students learned throughout the week strategies on how recognize and prevent substance abuse issues.
Ranaiyah said, “I learned that not only should you not take drugs, but you should avoid people who do use drugs.”
Besides the art contest, Fatima and Ranaiyah also enjoyed the other Red Ribbon Week interactive events. For example, Fatima liked the activity where students were able to take a picture with their teachers in class, while Ranaiyah enjoyed being able to take a picture of herself in red which enabled her to earn Buzzy Bucks to use in the school store. Red Ribbon Week was a wonderful opportunity to start conversations with students in a not only informational but fun way on how to choose to live a life free from substance abuse.