Red Ribbon Week is One of Many District Anti-Drug Efforts

Oct. 25, 2011 ~ The anti-drinking and anti-drug use campaign takes center stage nationwide during Red Ribbon Week, Oct. 23-31, but it's a year-round effort in the Olathe Public Schools.

"We have a full safe and drug-free schools program," said Heather Schoonover, Safe and Drug-free Schools facilitator. "Our district is committed 365 days a year to prevention."

From the curriculum designed for elementary students to the health class focus for middle and high school students, the district strives to educate students of all ages.

Education and prevention are the goals throughout the school year. Schoonover said there's an extra effort each spring as high school students look forward to prom and graduation. A drunk-driving accident re-enactment with drama students and emergency personnel brings a scary situation onto the high school lawns for everyone to see the dangers of driving intoxicated and will hopefully serve as a deterrent.

Project Graduation, arranged by each high school, is a "fun, safe place for seniors to go on graduation night," Schoonover said.

In addition, the high schools occasionally hold STOP Underage Drinking presentations in the evening to help educate parents about the signs of youth drinking. Olathe South High School will hold an event on Nov. 2.

If education isn't enough and a student begins using drugs or alcohol there are sobriety groups in the high schools, and grant funds to provide an assessment so families will know how their son or daughter is dealing with the substance abuse issue.

Scarborough teachers tie red ribbons to cars Scarborough Elementary’s Erin Revey helped tie red ribbons on car antennas or door handles on Monday, Oct. 24, as part of Red Ribbon Week events. Revey and colleague Charlene Holtgraver sponsor the Student Council group and organized a week’s worth of awareness initiatives.
Red Ribbon Week kicks off at Scarborough

Charlene Holtgraver, fourth-grade teacher at Scarborough Elementary, worked with colleague Erin Revey to plan Red Ribbon Week events including Wear Red Day; Put a Cap on Drugs Day; Use Your Head, Don’t Do Drugs Day (crazy hair); and Say BOO to Drugs Day (fall costumes).

Photos by Marlene Colgan

KAY Club members decorated California Trail with red ribbons

KAY Club members decorated huge pillars at the front of California Trail Middle School with red ribbons as a way to bring attention to Red Ribbon Week activities.

Submitted photo