Education through Innovation
By Iris Ung
Student at Wertheimer Middle School
Since 1985, communities and schools throughout the country have taken a pledge to be drug-free through the Red Ribbon initiative. An event known as Red Ribbon Week was formed through an association of students and schools to honor and promote this pledge.
Wertheimer Middle School elected to take part in this event and students took pride in demonstrating their promise to live a drug-free life. Throughout the week of October 28, students participated in various fun activities to show support for both their school and a drug-free future. Such activities included wearing camouflage clothing (“Aiming for a Drug-free Life”) and pajamas (“Follow Your Dreams—Don’t Do Drugs”) to promote various anti-drug messages. When asked why she participated in the week-long event, Wertheimer student Clara Whelan stated, “I like how the school makes the activities fun [to encourage] participation. I also like that each day our dress-up [theme] represents a statement.” Another student, Jordan Leighty noted that she participated because she wanted to express her opposition to drugs.
I believe that Red Ribbon Week is an innovative way to educate children on the avoidance of drugs. Clara Whelan echoed my thoughts, stating “I like how the staff wants to give a message to the kids, saying that you shouldn’t do drugs.” Jordan Leighty added, “I think everyone is trying to make it fun and [make] a stand against drugs!” These messages are powerful because peers with positive practices help influence each other. By encouraging one another through an awareness program, the school aims to help students avoid life-long distractions that could be detrimental. The aim is to focus on support, health, and education. Red Ribbon Week symbolizes a tradition of commitment from students and schools, such as Wertheimer, to a drug-free future.
Wertheimer Middle School was also supporting local families by holding a Canned Food Drive during Red Ribbon Week and the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving. This project is helping others in our Fort Bend community that are less fortunate–especially during the holiday season. Many other schools will also be participating in this event. “[It is nice] knowing that other families that might be struggling financially will be helped during hard times,” states Wertheimer’s counselor and food drive sponsor, Mrs. Rocio Espinoza. “It is a great way to help our community.”
Wertheimer’s goal with both events was to encourage a healthier lifestyle. Engaging our students and staff in this pursuit, allows our school to contribute to this worthy goal. Our hope is that through cooperation, we can achieve a vision of a healthy and hungry-free society. In close, Wertheimer Middle School’s ultimate aim is achieved through compassion and teamwork to promote a better life with Education through Innovation.
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