Schools across the county kicked off Red Ribbon Week on Monday with programs planned that encourage students to say no to drugs.
“I don’t ever want to do drugs. I’m totally against doing drugs,” said Lexie Bruce, the winner of Black’s Mill Elementary School’s annual essay contest against drugs.
Bruce and a winner from each elementary school celebrated their decision to be drug free at Longhorn Steakhouse on Monday for lunch, courtesy of Dawson Against Substance Abuse, formerly the Dawson County Meth Taskforce.
“We’re just so proud that they cared enough to enter the contest, which to me reflects good character skills,” said program coordinator Nancy Stites.
Held annually the last week of October, Red Ribbon Week is the nation’s oldest and largest drug prevention program.
“Red Ribbon Week is a time each year that we focus on why it is important to live a drug free lifestyle,” said Dawson County Middle School Counselor Becca Wilson.
With costume days to “scare away drugs” and door contests that discourage drug use, as well as guest speakers who have experienced the true dangers of drugs and students signing pledges to be drug free, counselors say the information students gain this week is designed to help them make positive choices.
“Ultimately, the goal is to go along with what we teach them all year and that’s to make good choices,” said Lance Stiffler, counselor at Robinson Elementary.
Each school has events planned through Friday.