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Awareness Achieved During Red Ribbon Week
1106 Chalk Art
These California Avenue Elementary School students took some time on Wednesday to spread a message about being drug free in their own creative way with chalk art. Photo Courtesy Of Penny Bartholomew

Several schools within the Riverbank Unified School District participated in Red Ribbon Week from Monday, Oct. 28 through Friday, Nov. 1 and California Avenue Elementary was no exception. California Avenue teacher Penny Bartholomew was the Red Ribbon Week activities coordinator there and made it a point to bring awareness to the elementary students to be drug free and protect against bullying.

“The main goal for us is to get the word out to our youth and be aware of what drugs and bullying can do to you,” said Bartholomew. “I personally would like to thank all California Avenue staff and students who participated in the week’s activities.”

Monday kicked off Red Ribbon Week with Crazy Sock Day and red shirts meaning “Sock it to Drugs.” Teachers passed out bracelets to the students and they were asked to wear the bracelets all week. The students were also given pledge papers which were colored strips of paper that they could write a slogan on with their name as their pledge to be drug free. The strips were then linked together and were placed around the school like a chain.

They had a door decorating contest and one door in each grade level was selected as the winner.

Tuesday’s theme was “Too bright to do drugs” and students were asked to wear neon bright colors and sunglasses. The Riverbank High School drama students also performed a skit for the elementary students and the Cardozo Middle School color guard also performed with the band.

The theme for Wednesday was “Spot Me Being Drug Free” where students dressed up in anything with polka dots. The students were also asked to fill a blacktop or sidewalk area with an anti-drug message using chalk art.

If you were on campus on Thursday, you may have noticed some students with crazy hair which would have been for the theme day “Get drugs out of your hair” day.

The kindergarten and pre-K students, in celebratory fashion for Halloween, had a costume parade. (See story, photos on Page A2.)

Red Ribbon Week wrapped up on Friday, Nov. 1 with guest speaker Deputy Gary Vernon from the Riverbank Police Services who gave a speech at an assembly for the students about drugs, bullying and gangs. During the speech he also expressed to the students that people are different and it is okay to be different.

The theme for the day was “Team up against drugs” and the students were asked to wear school spirit shirts.

Vernon drove his motorcycle onto campus and the students were excited to see him and the bike. The deputy demonstrated the lights and sirens, much to the delight of the students.

His presentation ended with the deputy passing out some free items to the students and gave the teachers stickers to pass out to the kids as well.