Submitted by Denair High School
Denair High School was awarded second place among all high schools in Stanislaus County for its enthusiastic and persuasive programs associated with Red Ribbon Week on Oct. 23-27.
High school, middle school and elementary campuses were evaluated by officials from the county Office of Education, who made site visits. They used a point system that factored in student, staff and parental involvement as well as decorations and signs associated with Red Ribbon events.
Schools across the country celebrate Red Ribbon Week, which began in 1980 as a way to discourage drug use among children while promoting healthy behaviors. Former First Lady Nancy Reagan was one of the original proponents.
At Denair High, student members of the PHAST (Protecting Health and Slamming Tobacco) Club worked with staff advisor Melissa Treadwell to orchestrate an informative and fun series of events.
On Monday the 23rd, students arrived on campus to see the wreckage from a car accident. The scene was a sobering example of what can happen if people drink and drive, text and drive or are under the influence of drugs and drive. A video was shown to students the previous Friday introducing the topic.
The rest of the week included a drug dog demonstration, a presentation from Denair Fire Department, and plenty of music, games and prizes supporting the message. The California Highway Patrol used goggles worn by students sitting behind the wheel of a car that simulated what it was like to be drunk and try to drive.
“The kids did a great job coordinating everything,” Treadwell said.
Denair Principal Kara Backman said Red Ribbon Week is an important part of preparing teens for the future and teaching them to make good choices.
“We believe in providing opportunities for students through academic rigor and extracurricular activities,” she said. “We believe that awareness and grit help guide students emotional maturity toward a successful college and career path.”
Treadwell and five Denair PHAST Club members will be honored at a ceremony Dec. 12 at the county schools office in Modesto. Hughson finished first among high schools.