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Katonah-Lewisboro Schools Celebrate Red Ribbon Week

John Jay Middle School SADD Club members Andreya Pastrana, Ariella Mendez, adviser Tina Russo, Amelia Egeler, Emma Hinkley and Melanie Kardos pose in front of the school’s Red Ribbon Week Reality Wall.
John Jay Middle School SADD Club members Andreya Pastrana, Ariella Mendez, adviser Tina Russo, Amelia Egeler, Emma Hinkley and Melanie Kardos pose in front of the school’s Red Ribbon Week Reality Wall. Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Katonah-Lewisboro School District

LEWISBORO, N.Y. – Students across all grade levels took part in alcohol and drug prevention activities as the Katonah-Lewisboro school district celebrated Red Ribbon Week.

From red ribbons on the school buses to special activities throughout the week to highlight drug and alcohol prevention, Red Ribbon Week was a districtwide initiative in Katonah-Lewisboro from Oct. 27-31.

“The red ribbons on the buses were just one way we thought we could bring the community together,” explained Kiri Ryan, John Jay Middle and High School social worker. “We also started handing out red ribbons and stickers to the elementary kids, provided by the Bedford-Lewisboro-Pound Ridge Drug Abuse Council.”

Teachers in the elementary schools also spoke with students about making healthy choices. At the middle and high school levels, social workers worked more intimately with students to discuss the dangers of drugs and alcohol.

“I think the most powerful thing is, at the middle school and the high school, we create a ‘Reality Wall,’” Ryan added.

Each student and faculty member completed a “brick” to contribute to the wall with a personal experience or community experience that relates to the consequences of drug and alcohol use.

Eighth-grader Andreya Pastrana, who is a member of the Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) Club at JJMS, said, “It’s important for students to understand the negative effects of abusing alcohol, cigarettes and drugs.”

“I personally think it’s bad because you can seriously hurt other people,” she said. “It’s just not good for you and you can die easily from it.”

At the end of the week, the middle and high schools unveiled their completed Reality Walls, full of anonymous student and teacher contributions.

“I think it’s important for the students to understand how their decisions impact their lives and impact the lives of others,” said Tina Russo, the middle school’s SADD club adviser.

For more information about the school district’s 2014 Red Ribbon Week, view a video on the district website, http://www.klschools.org .

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