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Week encourages drug-free students
E-Red Ribbon Week pic
Third grade students at Riverview showed their support for Red Ribbon Week by wearing their pajamas to school for Follow Your Dreams-Dont Do Drugs Day on Monday. - photo by David Renner Dawson Community News

More than 1,500 schools across Georgia are setting aside time this week to celebrate drug-free students.

Running Oct. 21 through 25, the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities kicked off Red Ribbon Week Monday.

"National Red Ribbon Week is a time set aside each year to specifically focus on drug awareness," said Dr. Janice Darnell, director of student support for Dawson County. "The red ribbon is a symbolic reminder of the importance in educating youth of the harmful effects of drug use and to encourage participation in drug prevention activities."

This year's theme for Dawson County is "A Healthy Me is Drug Free." Students will be celebrating with themed days such as Riverview Elementary's "Follow Your Dreams-Don't Do Drugs" dress up in pajamas day.

The county middle schools will hold Red Ribbon Week next week.

"The Dawson County School District wants all of its children to be safe and drug free so they may reach their full potential and become healthy, happy, productive citizens," Darnell said. "The school counselors work with teachers and administrators to plan and provide special activities each day during Red Ribbon Week."

Darnell said the activities are designed to provide informative lessons of drug awareness and ways to address social pressures for usage.

The 2013 theme was set to match the Dawson County School District Wellness Plan, which includes making healthy nutritional food choices and participating in physical exercise activities.

The school district invites the Dawson community to join in the campaign of drug awareness by wearing red this week.