Guest Blogger: Chris B.

Our Student Leadership Committee decorated campus with red ribbons during Red Ribbon Week.
Our Student Leadership Committee decorated campus with red ribbons during Red Ribbon Week.

St. Joseph’s students and staff observed Red Ribbon Week (RRW) during the fourth week in October. Many of our students have been exposed to drug and alcohol abuse, so RRW is an important opportunity to educate and remind students of the negative effects drug and alcohol use can have on their lives.

RRW is the largest drug prevention campaign in our country. It originated because of DEA Special Agent Enrique Camarena – he was kidnapped, tortured and brutally murdered in 1985 by Mexican drug traffickers in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Camarena was on the trail of Mexico’s biggest marijuana and cocaine traffickers, and was close to busting a multi-billion dollar drug pipeline. The first RRW was held in 1988 so young people and communities could pledge to be drug-free and pay tribute to Camarena.

Grace tries to make a basket on the Extreme Sports Challenge during the inflatable party.
Grace tries to make a basket on the Extreme Sports Challenge during the inflatable party.

St. Joseph’s Substance Abuse Prevention Committee plans fun and educational RRW activities every year for our students. We started the week off by having an inflatable party at our rec center which is always a big hit for everyone!

On Monday, students and staff dressed to the theme “Follow Your Dreams, Don’t do Drugs!” by wearing pajamas. It was a cozy, comfy way to start the week!

On Wednesday, we wore shirts with Gandhi’s quote

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

We are planning to wear these shirts again during our Spring Sobriety Walk in April. We ‘elected’ to be drug-free on Friday by wearing red, white and blue.

Third grade students enjoy the school day in their pajamas.
Third grade students enjoy the school day in their pajamas.

All the homes enjoyed competing in drug and alcohol trivia contests over the intercom after school. Prizes were given to the home that called first with the correct answers. The Ambrose Home won the first two contests, but they failed to make a clean sweep when the Raphael Home won the final contest.

We tried something different this year by holding Red Ribbon Relays, which were partially planned and organized by our High School Leadership Committee.

The homes competed against each other in relay races, a potato sack race and a three-legged race, and they used red ribbons as batons. Students painted their faces blue before the races because they pledged to say “NO” to drugs until they are blue in the face!

Everyone enjoyed an ice cream sundae bar after the races, so the evening had a ‘sweet’ ending.

RRW activities are possible because of your generosity. Pilamaya – thank you so much for everything you do to support these amazing children!

Author: St. Joseph's Indian School

At St. Joseph's Indian School, our privately-funded programs for Lakota (Sioux) children in need have evolved over 89 years of family partnership, experience and education. Because of generous friends who share tax-deductible donations, Native American youth receive a safe, stable home life; individual counseling and guidance; carefully planned curriculum based on Lakota culture and individual student needs and tools to help build confidence, boost self-esteem and improve cultural awareness. All of this helps children to live a bright, productive, possibility-filled future.

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