East Helena school decorates doors to promote drug prevention

Red Ribbon Doors
Posted at 6:00 PM, Oct 27, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-27 20:00:35-04

HELENA — To help spread awareness about drug-use prevention, classrooms at East Valley Middle School, decked out their doors.

Over 300 students helped decorate over 30 doors as part of Red Ribbon Week, with the incentive of the winning door earning the class a pizza party.

“The doors are always a fun process because each homeroom comes up with their own way to celebrate the same theme,” said Staci Dawes, a Health and Physical Education teacher at East Valley Middle School.

Students were also encouraged to dress up according to each day’s theme.

“The kids love dressing up, so the dress-up week is always a hit. The kids love to see what each other dresses up like,” Dawes said.

They were also supposed to help the elementary school during the parade, which was unfortunately canceled this year because of weather and ended the week by learning from a guest speaker.

“It’s always fun to go to an assembly and have a speaker that comes in and talks,” said Dawes.

Red Ribbon Week is every year from October 23 through 31.

“Red Ribbon Week was started in the 80’s as a way to say no to the drug crisis that was happening,” said Dawes.

Red Ribbon is the nation’s largest and longest-running drug use prevention campaign.

East Valley Middle School is only one of over 600 schools nationwide participating this year.

“This is where it starts. Kids start vaping, kids start smoking,” Dawes said. “Other drugs at this age. It’s kinda the curiosity age where their dopamine levels are super high and so it’s just super important to start giving them the information so they can start to decipher choices they’re going to make, and that addiction can last a lifetime.”