Partnership for Awareness is once again collaborating with the San Marino School Board and the San Marino Unified School District to bring a variety of Red Ribbon Week activities to the district’s campuses next week.

Red Ribbon Week, which occurs this year from Oct. 24-28 across the country, is a national campaign to educate school-aged children about the dangers of drug and alcohol use and to encourage participation in drug-prevention activities.

“Partnership for Awareness is honored to ‘partner’ with the school district and PTA/PTSA’s on each of SMUSD’s school campuses to bring programs and messages to reinforce healthy choices and alcohol, tobacco, drug education,” PfA President Helen Kim Spitzer said. “It is wonderful that our school district finds value in the national program such that it has officially adopted a resolution at the Oct. 11 Board Meeting in support of Red Ribbon Week, designating the week of October 24th to 28th as the commemorating time and encouraging all citizens to participate in alcohol, tobacco, drug education and other prevention activities – strongly committed to a drug-free lifestyle.”

“Each year, Partnership For Awareness supports Red Ribbon Week on all four San Marino public school campuses,” PfA Red Ribbon Week Chair Lindsay Lytle said. “In order to do that, a parent liaison is chosen at each campus, and that parent decides on the activities that will occur on his or her campus that year, with the approval of the site principal. This is why the activities vary from year to year and campus to campus. PfA does provide one signature event per campus each year for Red Ribbon Week.”

For example, last year there were professional BMX Bike Riders at Carver and Valentine Elementary Schools. This year, HoopItUp Kidz will perform a hula-hoop presentation.

This year’s signature event at Huntington Middle School will be a school-wide Shoe and Kindness Drive to support Soles4Souls.

San Marino High School’s signature event will be an assembly on Monday, where San Marino Police Chief John Incontro will address the entire student body.

“I will briefly talk about safety and outcomes from alcohol or drug use from our perspective,” Incontro said. “I will then open it up to any questions.”

This is the first time that Incontro will be addressing the student body as a whole in this manner.

The age-appropriate Red Ribbon Week messages will differ on each of the four SMUSD campuses.

“The Red Ribbon Week message on the elementary campuses is geared toward healthy eating, healthy lifestyle choices—including lots of exercise, and drinking water and other non-sugary liquids for hydration,” Lytle said. “The middle school presents Red Ribbon Week as an opportunity to remember how important it is to be drug free, and to be kind to ourselves and others. The middle school students are encouraged to be kind to those in need through very specific activities. At the high school, Red Ribbon Week is a time to provide clear anti-drug and alcohol messages, along with resources our students can use to inform them of how to make and keep these commitments to themselves.”

This is Lytle’s second year chairing Red Ribbon Week. She said it’s a privilege to do so.

“The coordination and cooperation of so many people on the four campuses, the District Office, the School Board, Partnership for Awareness Board members and the entire community is powerful and moving,” she said. “This community cares so much about each other, and this is a great opportunity to demonstrate this meaningful commitment.”