Red Ribbon Week Continues at Rector and Piggott

Thursday, October 29, 2015
ABC students from Piggott Elementary School join-in with the bigger kids in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance during Monday's Red Ribbon Week Rally.(TD photo/Tim Blair)

Red Ribbon Week is in full swing for 2015, with activities scheduled through Friday, Oct. 30, at both Rector and Piggott elementary schools. The threat of rain on Monday forced the annual PES rally inside the campus gymnasium, and prompted a postponement of the annual balloon release to Thursday, but failed to dampen the spirits of the students as the packed house took part in the traditional observance.

The forecast is much more favorable for Thursday, as Rector Elementary School's annual assembly/rally and parade is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Meanwhile, the PES balloon release has been set for 2:30 Thursday afternoon on the campus playground.

During Monday's rally at Piggott Elementary, the students heard from a variety of speakers and enjoyed performances by the Marching Mohawk Band, drum line and flag line along with the senior high, junior high and peewee cheerleaders. This marked the 28th year the Red Ribbon Week observance has been held at PES.

Special guests included Mayor Jim Poole, Jeremi Wicker of the Piggott Police Department, school board members Bradley Dunlap and Chris Roberts, Superintendent Charlie Powell and PES Principal Leann Mann.

This year's keynote speaker was Jeremy Pierce, pastor of the Thornton Street Church of Christ in Piggott.

Pierce centered his remarks on the issue of bullying. Accompanied by PES Counselor Barbara Batey, he related the story of the Westside shooting, illustrating how bullying can have far-reaching and devastating effects. During his remarks, Pierce also encouraged the students to talk to Batey, or someone in authority, if they're being bullied, or know someone who is a victim. "It's often the reason why people also turn to drugs or alcohol," he observed.

The local minister also shared the story of how Red Ribbon Week came to be, relating the story of the DEA agent who was killed by drug dealers prompting a nationwide response.

The winners of the coloring and essay contests were also announced, with the top essay winners reading theirs for the assembly. All of the winners were also presented with a cash award by Paula O. Blackwell, representing Piggott Community Sharing Hearts.

The winners in the coloring contest included--Kayleigh Smith in Mrs. Andrea's ABC class, Chloe McDaniel in Ms. Jo's ABC class, Zoie Pollock in Mrs. Marilyn's ABC class, Kaeleigh Clifford in Mrs. Amanda's kindergarten class, Colton Lamborn in Mrs. Laura's kindergarten class, Audrina McChristian in Mrs. Hope's kindergarten class, Keelee Simpson in Ms. Jenna's kindergarten class, Gabbie Townsend in Ms. Shelby's kindergarten class, Isabella Woods in Mrs. Katrina's first grade class, Kylie Hunter in Ms. Pam's first grade class, Mollie Coomer in Mrs. Vanessa's first grade class, Mason Mowery in Ms. Marissa's first grade class, Luke Scheidler in Mrs. Nikki's second grade class, Alyssa Miller in Mrs. Amy's second grade class and Allie Turner in Mrs. Jessica's second grade class.

The individual classroom winners in the essay contest were--Micha Reeves in Ms. Tammy's third grade class, Marley Speer in Ms. Jenna's third grade class, Jessie Henson in Mrs. Megan's fourth grade class, Macey Powell in Mrs. Cassie's fourth grade class, Azlyn Pierce in Mrs. Tonya's fifth grade class, Emma Langley in Mrs. Sherri's fifth grade class, Ashley Fenton in Mrs. Veleda's sixth grade class and Shawnee Latimer in Mrs. Erica's sixth grade class. And, the overall winners were--Addy Hickson from Mrs. Heather's third grade class, Ava Baggett of Mrs. Christy's fourth grade class, Madison Arenez of Mrs. Vickie's fifth grade class and Skylar Stone of Mrs. Amber's sixth grade class.

Throughout the remainder of the week special activities and observances are also being held at both schools. At Rector Elementary today, Thursday, Oct. 29, all students are encouraged to wear red to represent their commitment to a drug free life. And, Friday, all Rector students are encouraged to wear their blue and gray to remind the world, "Cougars don't use drugs."

During Thursday's assembly/rally the winners of the annual poster contest, coloring contest and essay contest at Rector Elementary will also be announced and recognized.

At PES they're marking Thursday as "Team Up Against Drugs" day, and students and faculty members are invited to wear either their favorite sport team's attire or dress in camouflage to show their support. And, the week will wrap up on Friday, Oct. 30, with "Say BOO to Drugs" day as students will be encouraged to wear a Halloween costume to school, although masks will not be allowed.

Throughout the week the students at PES are also taking part in a hygiene item drive. Each class is collecting soap, shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant and other hygiene supplies through noon on Friday, Oct. 30. Organizers note the class collecting the most items during the week will be treated to a cookie and punch party. Items may also be dropped-off at the PES office or parent center.

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