Maxwell Elementary School plans Red Ribbon Week festivities



by Kimberly L. Wright
Air University Public Affairs


10/29/2010 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- As part of Red Ribbon Week, Maxwell Elementary School will feature awareness events to get the antidrug message out to children and their parents.

Maxwell's Youth Leadership Team planned a list of activities for the week, said Becky Hill, the faculty advisor to Maxwell's Youth Leadership Team. A kickoff ceremony is at 9:45 a.m. Monday. It will include a "Walk Away from Drugs" parade down Magnolia Street to the arboretum to tie red ribbons around the trees and other activities, including a working dog demonstration by Security Forces. Each class has been asked to make a banner with a drug-free slogan to carry in the parade, and students will wear red. Parents are also invited to attend.

The rest of the week will feature different themes to highlight the drug-free message. On Tuesday, students will say "Peace Out" to drugs by dressing up as hippies. Don't be surprised to see students wearing pajama bottoms and a T-shirts to school Wednesday. It's part of an effort to put drugs to sleep. Thursday will be a school spirit day, with children wearing their school shirts, and Friday, students will wear shirts representing their favorite sports teams as part of that day's motto: "Stay in the game. Be Drug Free." There will also be a door decorating contest throughout the school.
Friday will also mark the first community service project for the school, which also has an antidrug theme, said Ms. Hill. As part of "Paws-itively Drug Free," students are requested to donate an item to the Montgomery Humane Society.

Aloys Ingram of the 42nd Air Base Wing's Drug Demand Reduction program and Tech. Sgt. Mashawn Black of the 42nd Air Base Wing's Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment program are invited to the school during Red Ribbon Week.

"Their week is pretty well rounded and packed," said Sergeant Black, who usually oversees the older students attempting to maneuver a tricycle around obstacles while wearing goggles that simulate the effect of alcohol. Mrs. Ingram talks about the dangers of drugs. "As far as educating the parents, we put pamphlets into goody bags for each student," she said.

According to the Red Ribbon Coalition, Red Ribbon Week was started in memory of Drug Enforcement Administration Agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena, who was kidnapped, tortured and murdered by Mexican drug traffickers in 1985. The week, which started as an observation in Mr. Camarena's hometown of Calexico, Cal., was adopted nationally to raise awareness of alcohol, tobacco and other drug and violence prevention, early intervention, and treatment services. It is celebrated during the last week of October.