Lead by example. Be helpful to someone. Nice is free. Pay it forward. This is a no bullying zone.
Students at the Western Wayne Middle School went on a hunt to find lids with these powerful words on them hidden throughout their school for just one of many activities in honor of Red Ribbon Week, which is observed from October 23 through October 31 each year.
Red Ribbon Week is a United States initiative for the education and prevention of drugs, tobacco, and alcohol abuse. Both students in Western Wayne’s Middle and High Schools participated in a variety of events to celebrate Red Ribbon Week.
They included wearing red ribbons to symbolize being drug and alcohol free, wearing black and gold to show school pride for making positive choices, wearing mismatched socks to spread the message of “socking it to drugs”, and wearing boots to show the idea of “giving the boot to drugs.”
These different dress days were done throughout the week in both middle and high schools. Prizes were given for homerooms who had the most participants among other activities to earn rewards.
The two schools also set aside October 24 to commemorate the life of Rachel Scott and celebrate Rachel’s Challenge. Rachel’s Challenge is a national program that promotes acts of kindness in memory of Rachel Joy Scott, the first person killed in the Columbine High School shooting. Participating Western Wayne students wore orange on this day to pledge that they will always try to treat others with kindness just like Rachel did.
The CATS (Community Attitude Toward Success) Club lead this kindness and positive choices initiative in the middle school. The group’s advisor is Western Wayne Middle School Guidance Counselor Lisa Jacques.
One project that CATS Club members did this year was to work to cut out positive sayings to put on plastic lids that teachers hid throughout the middle school for students to find and turn in for prizes.
As students found the lids they put them up for display on a board in the cafeteria with the words reduce, reuse, and recycle on it. The board was an effort to promote the idea of spreading a positive, drug-free atmosphere in the middle school along with encouraging students to treat their environment with kindness.
Western Wayne Middle School CATS Club members pose in front of the lid display in honor of Red Ribbon Week. From left: Mary Jane Gilligan, Halle Smith, William Dwyer, Josh Mahnke, Zoey Goldman, Sami Sharp, and Emma Gilligan.