Has your child pledged to be drug free? National Red Ribbon Week is Oct. 23-31 this year.
Cherokee Elementary will celebrate Red Ribbon Week starting Oct. 27, with different themes and events throughout the week.
Monday will be "Drugs Have No Ties on Me" and the children are encouraged to wear some kind of tie.
Tuesday's theme is "Shade Out Drugs." To support this theme the students will be allowed to wear sunglasses to school.
"Sock It To Drugs," where the kids will wear crazy socks, is Wednesday's theme.
"Put A Cap On Drugs," is the way the students will pledge to be drug free Thursday by wearing hats to school.
Friday, the kids will show their drug free spirit by wearing as much red as possible.
Throughout the week, there will be prize giveaways during lunch period. All the children have to do to win a prize is pledge to be drug free.
Simmons First National Bank contributed to Red Ribbon Week at Cherokee Elementary and Highland High School by donating red ribbons for the students to wear throughout the week. The bank also donated bottled water to be used during the week.
Christi Williams, Cherokee Village branch manager for Simmons and Donald Britnell, community executive and regional manager, presented Cherokee Elementary with the ribbons Oct. 21. Williams and Britnell met some second and third graders during their visit.
Red Ribbon week is held in honor and remembrance of Enrique "Kiki" Camarena every year. Kiki was an 11 year veteran of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) who was sent to Mexico to work undercover in Guadalajara.
Kiki was very close to unlocking a multi-billion dollar drug ring when the drug lords learned who he was.
In 1985, Kiki was kidnapped by drug traffickers who tortured and murdered him.
After Kiki's death, Congressman Duncan Hunter and one of Kiki's high school friends, Hanry Lonano, developed the "Camarena Clubs" in Kiki's hometown of Calexico, Calif. Hundreds of club members pledged to lead drug-free lives to honor the sacrifices made by Kiki.
First Lady Nancy Reagan delivered these pledges at a national conference of parents combating youth drug use. After the conference, several state parent organizations called on community groups to wear red ribbons during the last week of October.
In 1988, the National Family Partnership (NFP) coordinated the first National Red Ribbon Week with President Reagan and his First Lady Nancy serving as honorary chairperson.
Several communities around the country have celebrated this event ever since. This year is no different for Sharp County. The schools are flooded with children wearing their red ribbons every day. It is not a fashion statement, it is a statement of life choices and these students have pledged to be drug free.