STUDD recognizes Red Ribbon Week at THS

By Jessica Skinner, Guest Writer

Red Ribbon Week is a week observed nationally that is sponsored by the Red Ribbon Coalition. Annually, Red Ribbon Week takes place in October in the United States. Red Ribbon Week’s main purpose is to raise prevention awareness about drugs and alcohol. There are many different events and campaigns that the Red Ribbon Coalition puts on during Red Ribbon Week, and at THS, the STUDD club puts on their own events as well.
There are three main events that STUDD does every year for Red Ribbon Week. The first thing STUDD members do is assemble “staff bags” to pass out to all of the THS staff. Included in the bag is a little gift, as well as facts about drug and alcohol prevention. Teachers are encouraged to share some of the facts with their students. The staff bags are made to help raise awareness and bring attention to the fact that it is Red Ribbon Week. The second event that STUDD does takes place at elementary schools, primarily Alberta Rider. A large group of high school STUDD members visit the elementary school and speak with the kids about making good and healthy decisions. Since the elementary students are much younger, the emphasis is not as much on drug/alcohol prevention but emphasizes the importance of making smart choices. This year, STUDD members visited first and third grade classes at Alberta Rider. They played a game of “decision-making BINGO” with the kids and helped the children distinguish between a good and bad choice. Then STUDD members take the elementary schoolers outside to plant a tulip. Each child gets a tulip bulb to plant in front of their school. The tulips that grow are red to symbolize Red Ribbon Week. The children are told that in the spring, when they see their flower bloom, to remember the pledge that they made to make good, smart, and healthy decisions.
The final event STUDD does is a giant hand print mural at Tigard High School. During both lunches, STUDD sets up a table outside of the bookkeeper and encourages THS students to take a pledge to be drug and alcohol free. Students slather their hand in red paint, make a handprint on the poster, and then sign their name next to their print. Typically, there are at least 100 handprints that end up on the mural. The mural is displayed in the hallway so students can see the numerous pledges that their peers have made. The hand print painting is pretty cool because it shows students that you don’t have to “go with the crowd” and smoke and drink…you can be one of those 100+ people who pledge to make good decisions.
STUDD is one of a few nationally recognized clubs by the Red Ribbon Coalition. Basically everything that happens at THS is used as an example for many other organizations across the country. STUDD is known as an innovative and highly influential club throughout the country, and part of the reason STUDD has this reputation is because of the many exciting things it does for Red Ribbon Week.