The St. Clair Elks Lodge recently donated $1,150 to be distributed between St. Clair R-XIII School District, Lonedell R-XIV School District, the Franklin County Special Education Cooperative and St. Clare Catholic School for Red Ribbon Week.
Red Ribbon Week is a national drug awareness campaign set for Oct. 23-27. Students across the country participate in school-related activities to promote and spread awareness about the dangers of drugs.
The money will go toward prizes and material for students throughout the week.
St. Clair School District will celebrate the week with spirit days, a poster and essay contest, as well as other daily reminders.
“Red Ribbon Week is an opportunity to teach an important message in a way that is memorable, fun, and hopefully long-lasting,” Superintendent Kyle Kruse said.
“If we can establish an anti-drug mind-set in our students, they will be less susceptible to pressures as they grow older.”
There will be themed dress days during the week that correspond with a specific motto. On Monday, Oct. 23, students can dress in red that ties in with the motto “Look at me I’m drug free.” On Tuesday, Oct. 24, students can wear camo, which corresponds with the motto “Drugs cannot find me.”
On Wednesday, Oct. 25, students can wear pajamas that tiein with the motto “Follow your dreams and don’t do drugs.” On Thursday, Oct. 26, students can wear sports attire that corresponds with the motto “Sports rule. Drugs drool.”
Red Ribbon Week will start Friday, Oct. 20, for Lonedell students. Principal Wayne Dierker said the week’s events are planned by school’s TREND group. The group participated in a special training to prepare them for the drug awareness week.
Students can dress in red starting that Friday to kick off the week. On Monday, students can dress in Western attire, which corresponds with the motto “Give drugs the boot.” On Tuesday, students can wear sports attire that corresponds with the motto “Compete to be drug free.”
On Wednesday, students can dress as Disney characters that corresponds with the motto “Live happily ever after drug free.” On Thursday, students can wear beach attire that corresponds with the motto “Life’s a beach without drugs.”
In addition to theme days and receiving ribbons, Dierker said older students will perform skits for younger students to inform them about the dangers of drug usage.
“It’s kind of unique because we are a K-eighth building. We get the older kids to help with the younger kids; and the younger kids really look up to these older kids,” Dierker said.
“(Red Ribbon Week is the) oldest and largest drug prevention program in America, which the sole purpose is to reach students.”
The week is beneficial for students because they learn about the negative effects of drugs and how important it is to stay away from them in a positive light, Dierker said.
“It’s an exciting week because we dress up, but at the same time I think we’re addressing the concern around drug usage – not only about drugs, but drugs are the main focus,” he said.
“I think for a lot kids, it really puts them on the right path about thinking about how important it is to stay away from (drugs).”