Monday, October 22, 2012

Red Ribbon Week!

Ready for the balloon launch!
It's Red Ribbon Week!  

This time each October, schools across the country celebrate making the decision to be drug free.  I always like Red Ribbon Week because it's kind of like spirit week, but with a focus behind it.  

Each day our school has a theme...  For example, today was "Team Up Against Drugs" and we wore team shirts (K-State for me, of course) and tomorrow is camouflage day.  (I can't remember what the catch phase is for that one.  I'm pretty much an anti-camo girl and didn't want to spend money on a camo shirt! LOL)  

We also pass out goodies to the kids each day of the week, whether it be a special pencil, sticker, or treat to remind them to stay drug free.  We also do a school-wide balloon launch where each child has a card attached to their balloon.  It requests that the person who finds the card send a letter to the school and we map where the balloons end up.  We've had balloons end up as far as Canada and the far NE US!  

Third graders showing off their message along the front fence!

Obviously at third grade this isn't a huge issue, but it's important to get the kids thinking about it now and teach them how to resist negative peer pressure.  I spend a lot of time talking to my kids about alcohol and tobacco since those are the things that they are most likely exposed to more than illegal drugs.  We talk about how it affects their growth, thinking, and overall health.  We also talk about prescription and over the counter drugs and how even though they are legal, they need to be taken according to the directions.  I think these types of drugs are some of the most dangerous because they're all around.  There's a fine line between warning kids and saying too much (you don't want to give them ideas), but it is a very important topic to cover.  United Streaming (Discovery Education) has some really good videos that are age-appropriate.  We use some of the videos to drive our discussions and fuel our writing projects for the week.

Does your school celebrate Red Ribbon Week?  
How do you teach your students about the dangers of drugs and alcohol?

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