Students at Lake Park-Audubon Schools observed Red Ribbon Week on Oct. 26-30, with a variety of activities geared around prevention of drug and alcohol abuse.
At LP-A High School in Lake Park, FCCLA members kicked off the week by tying red ribbons on automobile antennas.
They also slipped a seat belt safety reminder under each set of windshield wipers, with the message "Don't get twisted in a car crash, wear your seat belt." Each message was attached to a small package of rainbow Twizzlers.
The nationwide Red Ribbon Week campaign is focused on overall prevention of drug and alcohol abuse. However, according to FCCLA Advisor Cheryl Hogie, activities at the high school in Lake Park were centered specifically around driving, and all kinds of behind-the-wheel distractions, from texting and cell phone use to drinking and drug use.
Traffic safety statistics were red at the start of each morning's classes, via the school intercom, and FCCLA students Dylan Omvig, Michael Livdahl, Greg Olson, Haylie Gunderson, Rachel Carlson and Stephanie Cossette presented skits for the elementary students in Audubon.
Hogie, who coordinated Red Ribbon Week activities at the high school, the students' skits were about learning when to believe something you hear, and when not to.
"They were about not believing something just because you see it on TV, or because somebody tells you it's true," said Hogie.
"They wanted to try to get kids to think about where their information is coming from, and who they should be listening to," she added.
At the high school, Minnesota Highway Patrol Trooper Andy Schmidt also gave a presentation to students in grades 10-12, which included an air-bag demonstration.
At LP-A Elementary in Audubon, students in grades K-6 said "Peace Out to Drugs" with drug prevention-themed dress-up days, including:
Monday: "Say Peace Out To Drugs" (Tie Dye/Hippie Day);
Tuesday: "Join the Fight Against Drugs" (Camouflage Day);
Wednesday: "Drugs Don't Match A Healthy Lifestyle" (Mismatched Clothes Day);
Thursday: "Code Red" (Wear All Red Day);
Friday: "Turn the Lights Out on Drugs" (Wear Black Day).
A prize was given to one student in each class (grades K-6), as well as one staff member, who showed the most Red Ribbon spirit, by participating in the most dress-up activities.
On Thursday, Lake Park Police Chief Sean Mork spoke to elementary students, in conjunction with the skits by the FCCLA students from the high school.
Local law enforcement also judged a classroom poster contest, with prizes for the winning class in grades K-3 and grades 4-6. Criteria included neatness, originality and drug-free message, with judging appropriate to each grade level.
All Red Ribbon Week activities at Audubon were coordinated by elementary counselor Jenny Heggestuen, while Hogie coordinated events at the high school.