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Red Ribbon

Join The Red Ribbon Campaign


Red Ribbon Week is celebrated each year from October 23 – 31, 2014. The 2014 kick-off in Texas took place on October 16 at the Texas State Capitol, with the Capitol Red Ribbon Rally. This event brought together over 500 elementary school students from across the state for a motivational rally and other drug prevention activities. Read the 2014 Texas Red Ribbon Week Proclamation from Governor Perry.

Red Ribbon Week is the oldest and largest drug prevention campaign in the country. The National Family Partnership organized the first nationwide Red Ribbon Campaign in 1988. Since that time, the campaign has reached millions of U.S. children. In 1997, the Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse (now the Department of State Health Services) began committing resources to ensure the continuation of the Red Ribbon Campaign in Texas, as well as the hopes and beliefs behind this grassroots effort to protect children from the dangers of alcohol and other drugs.

How Can You Get Involved

  • Sign up to receive updates about Red Ribbon activities from The Partnership for a Drug-Free Texas and the Texas Department of State Health Services.
  • Designate a Red Ribbon coordinator and form a committee of adults and youth to organize a Red Ribbon Week and other local events.
  • Include alcohol, tobacco, inhalant and other drug information in school curricula during Red Ribbon Week. Learn more on our Drugs in Texas page.
  • Utilize The Partnership for a Drug-Free Texas’ classroom lesson plans below specifically written for Texas’ Red Ribbon Week.
  • Incorporate a drug education component in school orientation sessions for new students.
  • Plan essay, poster or other competitions.
  • Sponsor a “Wear Red Day.”
  • Sponsor a Red Ribbon Day rally or assembly with speakers and other festivities.
  • Invite parents to a drug education program or send information home to parents about how to talk to their children about drugs and how to identify drug use. Visit our For Parents page for tips.
  • Feature drug information in publications and on your organization/school website.

Red Ribbon Lesson Plans

Educators can use these classroom lesson plans to engage 4th, 5th and 6th graders during Texas’ Red Ribbon Week. The curriculum has been updated this year to address specific TEKS, ELPS, and CCRS standards, making this an even more valuable experience for students and teachers. The Texas Department of State Health Services and Partnership for a Drug-Free Texas are excited to provide these new resources in support of Red Ribbon events throughout the state.

  • The Healthy Choices Lesson Plan teaches students how drug and alcohol use and abuse can be prevented by making healthy choices. They will identify the biggest concerns they have about drug and alcohol use/abuse, discuss the dangers of new drugs that they may be seeing at school, and learn some positive ways to refuse these substances if they are offered to them. Teach this lesson first.
  • The Legislative Lesson Plan teaches students how alcohol and drug use / abuse can be prevented through the legislative process. They will learn how laws are made, write a drug or alcohol prevention bill, and debate the bill before a mock legislature comprised of their peers. The mock legislative sessions can be staged in the classroom.

The Story Of Red Ribbon

Red Ribbon is a national event honoring Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, a Drug Enforcement Administration special agent who was killed in 1985 by drug traffickers. Soon after, “Camarena Clubs” were launched in high schools in California, and hundreds of students pledged to lead drug-free lives. Two club members presented the “Camarena Club Proclamation” to then first lady Nancy Reagan, bringing it national attention. Parent groups embraced the campaign, and in 1988, Congress proclaimed the first U.S. Red Ribbon Campaign. The Texas Department of State Health Services, along with others, provides resources to ensure the continuation of the Red Ribbon Campaign in Texas and to support the hopes and beliefs that fuel the grassroots effort to keep children drug-free.

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