By GERRI MCDONALD
Special to Atmore News
Red Ribbon Week is an alcohol, tobacco and other drug and violence prevention awareness campaign observed annually in October in the United States. The goal is to educate individuals, families, and communities on the destructive effects of alcohol and drugs and encourages the adoption of healthy lifestyle choices, through building awareness in children who are school age.
To actively engage students at Perdido Elementary / Middle School in this campaign, the school’s Peer Helpers with sponsor Guidance Counselor Traci Branum came up with a daily, out of uniform, dress up event as follows:
Monday – Peace Out Drugs – Tie-Dyed Shirts
Tuesday – Drugs Can’t See Me – Camo
Wednesday – My Future Job is Drug Free – Dress as future professional self
Thursday – Team Up Against Drugs – Favorite sports team
Friday – Too Bright for Drugs – Neon colors
On Monday, the students learned about the DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program. DARE was founded in 1983 as a partnership between the Los Angeles Police Department and the L.A. public schools. The idea was simple: Officers would go into schools to talk to kids, “boosting the self-esteem of students so that they can resist the temptation to use drugs.”
Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) School Resource Officer (SRO) Unit Deputy David Tetreau and Deputy Lucas Jones partnered with BCSO K-9 handler Jason Kolbe to put on a school demonstration for Perdido. Deputy Lucas Jones (Perdido’s SRO) came as Daren the Lion, who is the mascot for DARE. Deputy Jason Kolbe brought “Aaron” the drug finding canine who the students watched as he sniffed out the hidden drugs.