SG R-II Celebrates Red Ribbon Week

Ste. Genevieve County R-II Schools celebrated Red Ribbon Week the week of Oct. 23. This year’s theme was “Be kind to your mind. Live drug free.” Throughout the week, students of all ages throughout the county participated in activities that promote healthy decisions. 

Students from Ste. Genevieve High School and Valle Catholic gathered at Ste. Genevieve City Hall on Oct. 9 to sign a Proclamation declaring Oct. 23 - 27 to be Red Ribbon Week in Ste. Genevieve County. 

High school students also had the opportunity to attend a ThinkFirst assembly, where Carey Portell shared her story of a serious vehicle crash where another driver’s decisions drastically changed many lives. She encouraged students to make wise choices and to think about others when making these decisions. The District would like to thank Carey for sharing their stories, and for her time and expertise when speaking to students about these issues. Members of the high school organization Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) assisted in the planning and programming of the assembly, as well as other components of Red Ribbon Week.

Teachers and staff shared lessons and discussions provided through Red Ribbon Week resources to make connections and build more intentionality into the week’s programming. For middle school students, advisory classes delved into resources such as Operation Prevention: The Science of Addiction, which explores common misconceptions about opioids through the voices of teens. One addition this year is the newly-created Destructive Decisions Prevention Program for sixth graders taught by Counselor Amy Meyer, School Social Worker Stephanie Gegg, and School Resource Officer Christy Clark. This program covers a host of topics throughout the school year, which include intentional drug prevention lessons.

Younger students, including third grade classes, preschools and daycares, had the opportunity to engage in presentations from the Ste. Genevieve Police Department and the Ste. Genevieve County Sheriff’s Office, as well as the local K-9 units! Students met Sergeant Charles Ochs, Deputy Nathan Glore, and Corporal Nikola Cusanelli and their K-9 partners. All three K-9 handlers talked with students about their work as a team, and explained to older students how their K-9 partners are specially trained for police work, including being certified in narcotic searches and apprehension.

Throughout the week, families and community members are also provided with resources, such as the Operation Prevention Parent Toolkit with tips related to preventing drug use, and more. These resources were part of a social media campaign to raise awareness and offer families the tools to take a proactive approach in discussing the dangers of substance use with their child. In addition, a local community group, Resources to Recovery, sponsored Hidden in Plain View, an interactive, educational display used to help families spot warning signs of risky activity. The display was open to families and the public on Thursday, Oct. 26, during Parent Teacher Conferences.

The Ste. Genevieve R-II School District would like to thank Mrs. Kristen Huffman and the private and parochial schools throughout Ste. Genevieve County for coordinating the events this year, along with SADD for helping to plan the activities, and the Ste. Genevieve County Sheriff’s Office, the Ste. Genevieve Police Department and the Ste. Genevieve County Memorial Hospital for their work in helping to reiterate and share the message to stay drug free. We would also like to thank our faculty and staff who helped to plan this week and make everything run smoothly, and our local businesses and community members for supporting this program and our students, and for spreading the message to make healthy decisions. We would like to thank the local group Resources to Recovery, who sponsored the Hidden in Plain View exhibit.