Dress for success

Dress-up days reiterate drug- and alcohol-free message

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Students will be rummaging through drawers for bandanas, riding the bus in their pajamas and walking to school in their slippers next week to send a strong message.

On Monday, they're banding against drugs. Thursday, they'll be giving drugs the slip, and Friday's pajama-clad youths are following their dreams.

Monday, Oct. 24 Theme: Band Against Drugs -- students and teachers should wear a bandana. 9:10 a.m. -- 9:40 a.m. MADD Presentation at Craig Middle School. First through fourth grade students will be bussed to and from the presentation.

Tuesday, Oct. 25 Theme: Drugs turn you inside out -- students and teachers should wear their clothes inside out.

Wednesday, Oct. 26 Theme: Drugs give you the blues --students and teachers should wear blue.

Thursday, Oct. 27 Theme: Give drugs the slip -- students and teachers should wear slippers.

Students should bring a cut out footprint from each member of their family. Construction paper will be provided. Footprints will be displayed on the cafeteria bulletin board to "Stamp Out Drugs."

Thursday, Oct. 27 6:30 p.m. Moffat County School District Board of Education meets in the board room of the School Administration Building, 775 Yampa Ave.

Friday, Oct. 28 Theme: Follow your dreams, be drug free -- students and teachers should wear pajamas, sweat pants or Halloween costumes at some schools.

To celebrate Red Ribbon Week, Moffat County schools have given each day a theme, and students are encouraged to dress in line with that theme.

Tuesday is "Drugs Turn You Inside Out Day," and Thursday is "Drugs Give You the Blues."

The Moffat County School District, in partnership with Grand Futures Prevention Coa--lition has been providing substance-abuse education during Red Ribbon Week for the past nine years.

The nation has celebrated Red Ribbon Week for 20 years. Grand Futures played a large role starting local activities nine years ago, but it has been slowly backing off and letting the school district continue.

The organization's role in this year's celebration is to raise funds and provide resources.

"We're not a direct-service provider," Grand Futures Director Cindy Biskup said. "We bring people to the table and initiate discussions."

Moffat County United Way contributed $5,000 to Red Ribbon Week, and the Substance Abuse Prevention Program kicked in $3,000.

Different schools are heading into the week with different plans.

At the high school, students are asked to wear red on Thursday, and the student council will stress how important it is to "Just Say No."

Substance-abuse prevention education is already a part of the high school health class curriculum. The class will have a series of local guest speakers who will talk about their experiences with drugs or alcohol. The series started last week and will continue through Nov. 4.

"It's a pretty solid unit," health teacher Jeff Simon said.

Last year, Grand Futures purchased a computer-based, interactive drug and alcohol program which debuted in the health class.

It will be offered again to students this year.

Students in kindergarten through sixth grade will kick off the week with a multimedia "Superhero" presentation sponsored by Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

That's the only scheduled event relating to Red Ribbon week at Craig Intermediate School.

"We'll encourage kids to dress in red and talk about substance abuse, but we try to focus on the concepts of Red Ribbon Week all year long," CIS Principal Don Davidson said. "We try to instill a culture of competence with positive behavior support all year long."

Each morning next week, a student will share a motivational message during the morning announcements.

Craig Middle School students also will hear motivational messages. Speaker Alvin Law will be at the school Oct. 5 to share his story and teach students that they can do all they set their minds to doing.

Law was born without arms after his mother took the drug thalidomide, which was a popular treatment for morning sickness until it was discovered to cause birth defects.

Elementary schools have ad----opted the theme: "Take care of yourself. Take care of each other" for Red Ribbon Week. The dress-up schedule for each elementary school is different and is outlined in the school's newsletter.

Launched 20 years ago by the National Family Partnership, Red Ribbon week honors Drug Enforcement Agency special agent Kiki Camerena, who was kidnapped, tortured and killed by drug traffickers in 1985.

Its celebration will be the launch of Grand Futures' campaign to target underage drinking. A community breakfast on Friday will be the kickoff as residents gather to hear about Grand Futures' plans.

"It's time to really start addressing the problem a little clearer than we have in the past," Biskup said.

The program is based on the philosophy "It takes a village to raise a child," Biskup said, and it will need community participation to be successful.

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