Ok, not technically – Red Ribbon Week is celebrated from October 23 – 31 every year, but the message and spirit of the week should not end then. You’ve probably come across lots of fun ideas to spread the message of drug prevention at your school during those nine days – like hosting a kick-off rally, organizing a fundraising campaign or decorating bulletin boards and classroom doors – but what about the other 356 days of the year?
The spirit of Red Ribbon Week cannot end on October 31. Peer pressure, the need to be accepted, curiosity, the availability of drugs, a want to escape family and school pressures – these are issues that don’t go away when Red Ribbon Week ends. So what can you do to keep the spirit of the week alive long after the bulletin board decorations come down and the assemblies end?
Don’t Be Scared to Say No
Don’t let your fear of getting a negative reaction from your friends or anyone else stop you from doing what is right. You might think that “everyone’s doing it,” but studies show they are not. Make healthy decisions for yourself instead of letting someone else make them for you. You don’t even have to give a reason why – just say “no” and walk away.
Surround Yourself with Positive Influences
Think carefully about who you hang out with. Surround yourself with people who are fun, supportive and make healthy decisions. Stay away from those who try to pressure you into doing something you feel is wrong – they aren’t real friends!
There are plenty of ways to have fun while still making safe, drug-free, positive decisions. Let loose by trying a new activity with your friends, joining a club … the possibilities are only limited by your imagination!
Be a Role Model
One of the best ways to keep the spirit of Red Ribbon Week alive year round is to set a positive example for others. The things you do are more important than the things you say, so practice making healthy choices in your own life and be a role model to others!
Cara Filler, Motivational Speaker and Prevention Specialist
Drive To Save Lives Tour and iSPOKE UP Campaign
Cara Filler is Driven to Inspire. She has shared her powerful positive leadership and prevention programs with more than two million people in five countries. Cara is a dedicated, self-proclaimed Safety Spaz and encourages everyone, no matter your age, to listen to your inner voice, stand up to a bully, get out of a speeding car, take the keys from a friend who has been drinking, ask for help or make a hard decision. It could just save a life! Cara is the founder of the Drive To Save Lives Tour and the iSPOKE UP campaign. Visit her website at www.carafiller.com.