Number of Participants: 150
Hours Donated: 1
Value of Time Served: $1,268
Event Type: Health & Safety
Date: October 31, 2018
Sag Harbor students in grades 6, 7 and 8 celebrated Red Ribbon Week from Oct. 22-26, an annual event that encourages middle school students to adopt healthy, drug-free lifestyles. The theme of the week, “Life is a journey, travel drug free,” carried over into their classroom studies and daily activities. They learned about the negative impact drugs and alcohol can have on a person’s physical and mental well-being, their future and their community. They also focused on the very real problem of violence in schools across the nation.
As part of their preparations for Red Ribbon Week, Middle School students met with Sag Harbor Mayor Sandra Schroeder earlier this month to sign a proclamation encouraging students and members of the community to participate in drug and violence prevention activities.
“The energy in the Middle School last week was incredible. Grades 6, 7 and 8 mark pivotal milestones in the lives of our students, and it’s so important to get them engaged early in making healthy and informed decisions,” said Middle School Principal Brittany Carriero.
Classmates said specific activities helped bring them together, including game-show style trivia in the auditorium, “escape-room,” “color wars,” and decorating school doors with anti-drug messages, such as “Don’t lose your good looks,” which shows faces of students “aged” by drug use.
Many students, including seventh-grader Chad Federico, said they were surprised at the huge number of teens across the country who smoke marijuana.
“It’s so accepted, and they don’t realize it can be a gateway drug,” Chad said.
Learning about how professional athletes and other public figures achieve a natural high through healthy sports and hobbies was helpful. Students also pointed to practicing mindfulness as a way to destress.
Other students talked about their meeting with middle schoolers from local districts to discuss bullying. Middle School Student Council President Augustus Hayes (grade 7) said the gathering was especially important because victims were empowered to speak up and get help.
During the next few weeks, students will discuss their Red Ribbon experiences and have an opportunity to revisit areas of particular interest such as pursuing a new hobby or volunteering to continue to promote health and wellness in their school and community.
Since 1988, the red ribbon has symbolized a continuing commitment to reducing the demand for illicit drugs in our communities. In 1985, Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Enrique S. “Kiki” Camarena was killed by drug traffickers. Shortly after Camarena’s death, citizens from his hometown of Calexico, California began wearing red ribbons to remember him and commemorate his sacrifice. The first official Red Ribbon Week celebration was created by the National Family Partnership in 1988. NFP continues to coordinate the campaign for families, schools and communities across the nation each year