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Schools Mark Red Ribbon Week
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Penny Bartholomews fourth grade class at California Avenue Elementary showed their spirit by participating in the Red Ribbon week dress up day wearing pajamas. Photo Contributed


The Red Ribbon Campaign for 2015 had several schools in the Riverbank Unified School District participating in activities and certain dress days throughout the week of Oct. 26 through Oct. 30. Red Ribbon week is observed by schools all over the country to promote alcohol, tobacco, drug and violence prevention and awareness in the month of October.

The 2015 theme for the Red Ribbon campaign was “Respect yourself. Be Drug Free.” According to the website the National Family Partnership, formerly the National Federation of Parents for Drug Free Youth was established as a grassroots, nonprofit organization in 1980 by a handful of concerned and determined parents who were convinced they should begin to play a leadership role in drug prevention.

California Avenue Elementary had a week of filled with dress up days for the kids to participate in Red Ribbon Week. Monday was “Sock it to drugs,” where kids were asked to wear their favorite crazy socks and red shirts. Tuesday was mismatched day with a theme of “I won’t get mixed up in drugs” and along with the festive gear the students were also treated to a band and color guard performance by Cardozo Middle School. Pajamas that were school appropriate were worn on Wednesday for the theme of “Live your dreams, say no to drugs.” Thursday was crazy hair day with a theme of “get drugs out of hair.” Friday was the final dress up day where students could wear their favorite team jersey or hat with a theme of “Put a cap on drugs and team up against drugs.” California Avenue also participated in a door decorating contest.

Engaging in a variety of activities in celebration of Red Ribbon Week, Mesa Verde Elementary students and staff also had a week filled with various dress days. Monday was pajama day and students had crazy hair for Tuesday’s theme, while Wednesday was Twin dress up day. On Thursday the students participated in a Jog-a-thon and wore sports attire. Friday’s dress day brought out all the superheroes. Mesa students were also treated to a BMX assembly that was funded by the student council with a drug free message.

“It (the BMX assembly) consisted of three men doing tricks on their BMX bikes,” stated Colleen Nabors, Mesa Administration. “The kids loved it and they were very well behaved. Every student from Transitional Kindergarten to fifth grade sat on their chairs and watched in amazement.”

They also held a door decorating contest which Mrs. DeLuca won for the primary wing with her spider door and Ms. Hadley won for the intermediate wing with The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Melissa Werner, Cardozo Middle School Special Day Class Teacher and Leadership Co-Advisor along with Danielle Jensen, organized a week full of activities, dress days, and spirited fun for the students at Cardozo.

Students were treated to a K-9 presentation to kick off the week and a teacher fashion show.

Monday had a theme of ‘Batman – Don’t let drugs be Robin your life’ with kids wearing the Batman logo or black and yellow. The students were also given ribbons each morning that had a number on it and staff would select a number and announce it. The student wearing their bracelet with the number called received a prize. ‘Superman – Don’t let drugs be your Kryptonite’ was Tuesday’s theme with kids sporting the superman logo or red, blue, and yellow. During lunch students in sixth, seventh, and eighth grades stopped by room 14 to place a red handprint on posters to show their commitment to being drug, alcohol, and tobacco free. Students wore the Hulk logo or purple or green to show their participation on Wednesday for the theme of the ‘Hulk – Heroes make healthy choices and go green.’ On Thursday, the students wore the Spiderman logo or red or blue colors. Eagle pride could be seen throughout the day on Friday with a theme of ‘Eagles soar clear of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco’ with students wearing a CMS shirt or blue and gold colors. The CMS staff is divided into two teams, the blue team and the gold team and each Friday the teams compete to earn spirit points. This has encouraged spirit throughout the campus among staff and students.

“School spirit is alive and well at Cardozo Middle School,” said Werner. “It has been a great way to get the staff and students excited to come to school and show their school spirit.”

Not to be outdone, ghouls, goblins, superheroes and other foolishness abounded on the campus of Riverbank High School on Friday, Oct. 30. The student body took advantage of the day before Halloween to celebrate the conclusion of its Red Ribbon Week with a ‘Scare Away Drugs’ costume contest in the quad.

On Monday last week, the theme was ‘Follow Your Dreams,’ designated Pajama Day. On Tuesday, it was ‘Lei Off Drugs,’ or Hawaiian Day. Last Wednesday was Western Day, with ‘Give Drugs the Boot’ as the theme, Thursday was Twin Day with ‘Friends Don’t Let Friends Do Drugs’ as the theme. Friday wrapped up with its ‘Drugs Are Scary’ theme, and students were wearing their Halloween costumes, but with masks or costume weapons not allowed.

With many students participating in the costume contest, the group was narrowed down the three entrants for the final vote. The ‘San Diego Chicken’ and ‘Day of the Dead’ duo were beaten out by vote of crowd applause for senior Eli Vernon as a ‘Ghostbuster.’ All three finalists received prizes.

The activities last week were intended to help spread the word on campus about fighting drug use and drug abuse.

Costumed students spilled over to the football stadium Friday night, where the final game of the 2015 season was played, as characters of all types mingled in the stands and around the grounds.


News Correspondent Ric McGinnis contributed to this report.