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California Avenue Captures Red Ribbon Week Honors
There were signs and red ribbons decorating California Avenue Elementary during Red Ribbon Week along with fantastic participation from the students, staff and community, which helped earn the school a first place honor in Stanislaus County. VIRGINIA STILL/THE NEWS

Riverbank Unified School District participates in Red Ribbon Week (RRW) each year and California Avenue Elementary won first place in the Elementary School Division in the competition hosted by the Stanislaus County Office of Education. There will be an awards ceremony for the winning sites on Tuesday, Dec. 10 at the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors meeting in Modesto. Miss Avey and Mrs. Cruz helped organize the events for Red Ribbon Week at California Avenue Elementary and they could not be more thrilled with this acknowledgement.

“Winning first place in the Best Decorated and Most Spirited School for Red Ribbon Week was amazing,” agreed Avey and Cruz. “We as a school community put in 100% percent effort and it definitely showed.”

The two added that they were “very proud” of the school and its students.

Schools throughout Stanislaus County participate in the RRW competition creating a week of dress days and activities. There is a middle school/junior high and high school division as well.

The teachers explained that the student council and leadership students took charge and planned the activities for the week which made the school stand out. And even though there were teachers advising them every step of the way, the students took ownership of the festivities.

There was a Sheriff’s Department with a K9 unit assembly on Monday Oct. 28 and several students wore red to kick off the week that lasted through Nov. 1. They had a door decorating contest during the week as well as chalk art, played sports during P.E., drew and displayed school posters and had a Fire Department assembly.

“I thought the competition definitely made us reach out of our comfort zones and to also be as creative as can be,” stated Cruz. “I loved how we were able to touch on all aspects from reaching out to the community, the parents, class involvement, and teachers/staff. We all played a huge role. I think more schools should get involved and spread Red Ribbon Week awareness.”

According to Avey and Cruz the judges are from the Stanislaus County Office of Education and the criteria is based on student, staff, parent and community involvement along with the daily activities planned for the week and themes.

“A part of the project is to submit a portfolio where you show the highlights of the week,” they said. “We worked so hard to meet the criteria and we’re glad the judges were able to see that.”

The school was decorated and the message was clear that students from California Avenue Elementary took the Red Ribbon Week pledge to stay drug free.