Red Ribbon Week
[Oct. 19, 2005]
SPRINGFIELD -- All too often teenagers
get bad reputations for their involvement in drug and alcohol abuse.
Teens who support drug and alcohol prevention within the community,
however, are rarely given credit for their positive influence.
During the week of Oct. 17-21 Sacred Heart-Griffin students
are participating in the annual Red Ribbon Week with activities
and events throughout the course of the school days. This year's
theme is "Building Character at SHG."
"SHG is filled with
students who are great role models," said Rini
Christofilakos-Soler, SHG's drug and alcohol prevention
coordinator. "We wanted this year's theme to encourage the kids
to be good influences on each other."
Students at SHG will dress in all red on Tuesday to show
their support of drug and alcohol prevention.
Wednesday is "Don't be a Statistic Day." Fifty students will
walk the halls in all black to represent the people who die in
drunk driving crashes each week. These students are also not to
communicate with others throughout the day. One large cross will
be placed in the courtyard in memory of the 2,395 individuals
killed in alcohol-related crashes each year.
Thursday will focus on suicide prevention awareness. Dr.
William Moredock will talk to the students about the signs of
suicidal behavior, and the Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention
Program will be introduced to the entire student body.
top of second column in this article]
Various forms of health information will be available to the
students on Friday. A representative from the Sojourn Outreach
Center will discuss domestic violence. Julia Ford with the
Illinois Institute for Addictions and Recovery will be available
to discuss drug and alcohol addiction, and the American Lung
Association will have material explaining the dangers of
Other activities of the week will include contests and prizes
at lunch; a contest for the best anti-drug, anti-alcohol
slogans; and a crazy tie, crazy sock day on Thursday.
"Red Ribbon Week is the perfect way for teenagers to show
that not everyone is doing drugs or drinking,"
Christofilakos-Soler said. "This is a really fun week for the
kids. It's a really good feeling to see the halls filled with
kids dressed in red from head to toe and know that they are
having a good influence on each other."
Red Ribbon Week began in 1985 in memory of Enrique Camarena,
an undercover special agent of the U.S. Drug Enforcement
Administration who was killed by drug traffickers in Mexico.
Friends and neighbors rallied to support drug and alcohol
awareness, pledged to lead drug-free lives to honor the
sacrifices made by Camarena and others, and wore red satin
ribbons in his memory. From that background emerged the national
campaign known as Red Ribbon Week.
Heart-Griffin news release]