Andersen students learn about Red Ribbon Week, drug-free lifestyles

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Willette Horne-Barnes, Andersen Elementary School principal, reads the National Red Ribbon Week Campaign proclamation to students Oct. 29, 2014, on Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. More than 800 students gathered in an assembly to learn about Red Ribbon Week and the importance of drug-free lifestyles. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Melissa B. White/Released)
Willette Horne-Barnes, Andersen Elementary School principal, reads the National Red Ribbon Week Campaign proclamation to students Oct. 29, 2014, on Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. More than 800 students gathered in an assembly to learn about Red Ribbon Week and the importance of drug-free lifestyles. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Melissa B. White/Released)

Andersen students learn about Red Ribbon Week, drug-free lifestyles

by: Staff Sgt. Melissa B. White, 36th Wing Public Affairs | .
Andersen Air Force Base | .
published: November 01, 2014

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam  -- More than 800 students gathered in an assembly Oct. 29 at Andersen Elementary School to learn about the National Red Ribbon Week Campaign and the importance of drug-free lifestyles.

The National Red Ribbon Week Campaign began in 1985 to honor a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent who was tortured and killed while investigating and battling illegal drug activities in Mexico. Red Ribbon Week is always celebrated during the last week of October and runs Oct. 23-31 this year.

During the assembly, students watched a video presentation to learn the history and significance of Red Ribbon Week and why they should stay drug-free in order to have brighter futures.

"Kids need to know at a young age that drugs are dangerous," said Cynthia Jones, AES counselor. "Hopefully educating them about this at a young age will get them into the habit of knowing that drugs are not good, and knowing that will continue to help them stay drug-free as they progress to be teenagers and then adults."

The students also received presentations from members of the 36th Wing Drug Demand Reduction Program, 36th Medical Operations Squadron Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment office, and the 36th Security Forces Squadron. They also had the opportunity to participate in interactive field sobriety tests with 36th SFS Airmen while wearing fatal vision goggles to simulate vision impaired by drugs or alcohol.

"The children responded really well to the field sobriety test demonstration," said Jones. "The goggles simulated impaired vision and I think it will stick in the student's minds seeing people struggle to do something that they could do really well before putting on the goggles; that's going to leave a lasting impression."

To drive home the importance of staying drug-free and continuing on in a healthy lifestyle, the students united at the end of the presentations to take a pledge. They pledged to stay drug-free, to only take medication given by a responsible caregiver, and to never take anyone else's medicine in order to stay healthy and to succeed at schoolwork and life.

"I'm going to stay drug-free because I don't want to go to jail or kill anyone because if you take drugs then you start to go crazy," said an AES third-grade student. "I also learned to not trust anyone who uses drugs or has drugs, and to stay drug-free."

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