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Red Ribbon Week returns to Vallecitos

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

Red Ribbon Week is held annually in late October to promote drug use prevention and awareness. In October 2022, Red Ribbon Week returned to Vallecitos Elementary School.

"They have done it in the past, but with covid they haven't done it in a few years, so this is our revival," said Vallecitos assistant principal Michelle Peace.

Red Ribbon Week took place Oct. 24-28 at the school. "The whole school's participating, and we had some dress-up days," Peace said.

The first of those was Crazy Hair Day. "It's crazy to get involved with drugs," Peace said.

Oct. 28 was Pajama Day. "We dream of a drug-free world," Peace said.

Each class had age-appropriate activities. "We're proud to be drug-free," Peace said.

Red Ribbon Week was first proclaimed by the United States Congress in 1988, although some Red Ribbon Week campaigns began during the previous three years. Drug use prevention and awareness campaigns now address drugs which didn't exist in the 1980s.

"One of our biggest pushes with our older students is making sure they understand the dangers of fentanyl," Peace said.

Other drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, LSD, methamphetamine, and Ecstasy are also included in the drug awareness programs.

"We do it all year with our health classes as well," Peace said.

During the summer, the Vallecitos School District and its only elementary school received $1.187 million of Community Schools Grant funding which allowed for the hiring of a full-time health specialist and physical education teacher. Kristin Dignan was chosen for that position and leads the health education aspect of drug use prevention and awareness.

This is Peace's first year at Vallecitos Elementary School. She was previously the English learner program coordinator at San Marcos High School.

"My goal is that our students grow up taking care of themselves physically and emotionally, and I'm glad I can be a part of making that come to fruition," Peace said.


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