Red Ribbon Week Underway

Thursday, October 25, 2018
PES students take part in the annual balloon launch at Monday's Red Ribbon Week rally.
TD photo/Tim Blair


Students at Piggott Elementary School are observing Red Ribbon Week Oct. 22 to 25. This year's theme is “Life is Your Journey, Travel Drug Free.” As they have for many years, the week's activities included the annual rally and balloon launch on Monday, dress-up days and a hygiene drive—although it will be cut short as there is no school on Friday, Oct. 26.

In a tradition which has lived for over 30 years, students and staff at PES use the opportunity to raise awareness of the dangers of alcohol, tobacco, drugs and violence. Throughout the week there were also special theme days, and activities, encouraging and supporting a healthy drug-free lifestyle.

Monday, Oct. 22, was “Proud to be Drug Free” day as all students were encouraged to wear red. The rally and balloon launch were held beginning at 1:30 p.m. on the playground, with special guest speaker Bro. Chris Brantley—minister of the First General Baptist Church, of Piggott, and the new Mohawk boy's head basketball coach. During the rally the winners of the coloring contest, poster contest and essay contest were announced and the student body enjoyed performances by the cheerleaders and members of the Marching Mohawk band. Those writing the top essays also had a chance to share them with the student body.

The coloring contests winners included—for pre-school, Sadie Schiedler in Ms. Jo's class; Gracie McHaffey for Ms. Marilyn's class and Olivia Baker for Ms. Crystal's class.

The kindergarten winners included Pierce Landrum for Ms. Hope's class; Presley Fennell for Ms. Natasha's class; Colton Carmichael for Ms. Misty's class and Hera Whaley for Ms. Shelby's class.

The first grade winners were Kember Myrick for Ms. Marissa's class; Kloe Smith for Ms. Katrina's class and Mia Lowe for Ms. Vanessa's class.

The second grade winners were Josie Featherston for Ms. Cassie's class; Josi Sanders for Ms. Jessica's class; Marli Trout for Ms. Kayla's class and Selena Cardenas for Ms. Amy's class.

The winners in the poster contest from the third grade were Madelyne Knight and Talon Toombs for Andrea Coomer's class; Parker Olsen and Ty Winchester for Jessica Robertson's class and Keelee Simpson and Alison Conley in Tammy Gordons' class. The fourth grade winners were Piper Burns and Isabella Woods in Mega Ruhmanns class; Creedan Corwin and Abby Gibson in Haley Baker's class and Naomi Cox and Cally Walker in Laura Murray's class.

The fifth grade essay winners were Kamron Fisher for Vickie Brown's class; Olivia Blackwell for Sherri Wright's class and Jeanel Vaughn for Tonya Helms' class. Taking overall honors was the entry by Olivia Blackwell.

Meanwhile, the sixth grade essay winners were Charlie Latta in Amber Murray's class; Jaci Conaway in Veleda Langley's class and Marcus Blascoe in Heather Seegraves' class. Taking the overall honor for sixth grade was the entry by Jaci Conaway. Both she and Blackwell had the opportunity to read their essays during the rally.

Tuesday was “Kick Drugs to the Curb” day, as students were encouraged to wear their best boots. Meanwhile, Wednesday, Oct. 24, was “Hats Off to be Drug Free” as they wore their favorite hat or cap. The shortened week will wrap up today, Thursday, Oct. 25, as they will be “Looking Forward to a Bright Future” day as the students and staff at PES will be wearing brightly-colored clothing and sunglasses to celebrate a life free from drugs.

A more-recent tradition also continues this week, as students are conducting a hygiene drive. During the week the students are encouraged to bring soap, shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant and other items to be donated. The deadline for making a donation is noon on Thursday, and the grade level which brings the most items will be treated to a popcorn party.

The Red Ribbon Week activities have been marked since the mid-1980s, and were planned to recognize the sacrifice of a Drug Enforcement Agency agent who gave up his life in the battle against illegal drugs along the U.S.-Mexico border.


The full week of special observances and activities continues through Friday, as Rector Elementary School is celebrating Red Ribbon Week. The RES GT students, who coordinate the week’s events, have planned many activities and contests to take place during the week to show support for living a drug free life. This year their theme is the same as the national theme, “Stay in the Game, Play Drug Free.”

The contests held during the week are split into three categories, with a winner coming from each classroom. Students in Kindergarten and first grade are participating in a coloring contest. Meanwhile, those in second, third and fourth grades are designing their own drug free poster. For fifth and sixth grades, students were asked to write an essay on “How does being drug free help them stay in the game?”

Other activities during the week include a daily guessing jar, dress-up days and a rally and parade. During the rally and parade, the community is invited to come out and support the students. The rally will be held at 1:30 p.m. this Friday, Oct. 26, in the open lot at the west end of the elementary. After the rally, all elementary students will parade around the block in support of living a drug free life.

The remaining dress up days are as follows—Thursday is 80s day, as students will be “turning back to the clock” to dress like it's the 1980s. In keeping with tradition, Friday will be Red Day as students are encouraged to wear red in support of the long-time observance.

Although relatively new to the RES students, Red Ribbon Week has been observed since the mid 1980s. It was first planned to remember the sacrafices of a Drug Enforcement Agency agent who gave his life fighting the flow of illegal drugs across the U.S.-Mexico border.

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