Red Ribbon Week concludes

Emily Reagan
Kaiserslautern American

***image1***Red Ribbon Week finished with a bang in the KMC.
“This week has reinforced to students to stay off drugs and stay healthy,” said Ramstein American High School sophomore Ryan Grimes, also an officer of the Life Club, a student organization to promote positive lifestyle choices and drug-free living. “The all-round message is that we can only do so much and it’s ultimately our decision.”

Red Ribbon Week consists each year of activities and dress-up days for all school-age students in the KMC. Students wear Red Ribbons to promote and pledge their commitment to stay drug free and sober.

Kaiserslautern American Middle School students decorated more than 400 grocery bags with anti-substance abuse messages for use at the Vogelweh commissary. Kaiserslautern schools also held a poster contest and school theme days.

At RAHS, 615 students pledged to be alcohol, tobacco and drug free.

“The signature pledges are vital in promoting a positive peer pressure,” said Mr. Wes Orr, Adolescent Substance Abuse Counseling Service counselor who coordinated Red Ribbon Week at RAHS. “They give the message that it is okay to not drink or do drugs and that one does not need to do these things to be cool or to fit in.”

Another important aspect of Red Ribbon Week is just getting children and their families to talk about these issues, said Mr. Orr.
RAHS wrapped up the week with an assembly Oct. 29. The assembly included a student skit on binge drinking, the dance team, prize giveaways and a presentation by Chief Master Sgt. Catherine Barker, commandant of the Kisling NCO Academy.
“The biggest thing is that we have to get involved and let them know that we’re here to help and that we love them, and that they’ll have to make their own choices,” said Chief Barker, who is also a mother and Girl Scout leader.

“If you reach one of them and get them to think, then you’ve made a difference,” she said.