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Red Ribbon Week Origin


Red Ribbon Week Origin
By [http://ezinearticles.com/?expert=Caroline_Mackay]Caroline Mackay

When Red Ribbon Week started back in 1988 it was to honor a young DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) Agent by the name of Enrique Camarena. His friends knew him by the name of “Kiki”. He was kidnapped and killed in Mexico back in 1985. He had uncovered a multi-billion dollar drug scam which might have involved the Mexican Army, police force and government. When he left his office one day, five men kidnapped him. He was found about a month later buried in a shallow grave. He had been tortured and beaten.
In 1988 the U.S. Congress proclaimed the first Red Ribbon Week supporting the cause that “Kiki” had given his life for. It is one of the first times that ribbons were used to support a cause, the fight against drugs. Now ribbons are used all the time to show support such as, for missing children, fights against diseases, and support our military.
Many teachers were around when this first happened and they were concerned about teaching about drugs in the classroom. This was not their area of expertise. On the other hand they could see that in ten years this might be a requited subject so they started preparing for what they felt was the inevitable.
Teachers started gearing up for what they knew was coming. They started to take classes and educate themselves about drugs. These drugs were foreign to them and they needed time to learn about the causes of drug abuse and the effects and results of drug abuse. Teachers started implementing their own programs or programs offered by the states so that they might get ahead of the problem. They found ways to teach children about alcohol, smoking, and drugs. They implemented lessons into their science and health lessons. They role played and did demonstrations.

In my classroom I found that having a play / skit about drugs brought the children a sense of ownership and they wanted to pass on their knowledge to their friends and peer groups. This they did by putting on plays and skits in assemblies for the whole school. Audience participation was a must and the students looked forward to participating.
Sometimes the best way to attack a problem is with a sense of humor so such a scary subject does not seem over whelming to a child. Thus, humor was incorporated into the plays and skits to soften the hard message that needed to be given.
Using fun plays, skits, and programs during Red Ribbon Week is a way to get students involved in the fight against drugs. Audience participation encourages all who are there to stand up and be counted in the fight against drugs. Just as “Kiki” stood up and had the courage to fight even though he died in doing so. His legacy lives on in Red Ribbon Week and in the DARE programs that are used through this country. http://www.ezeducationplays.com/articles.html [http://www.ezelectronicelements.com/page/page/3966316.htm]

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