Jefferson County school districts are teaching drug prevention in a coordinated effort in observance of Red Ribbon Week.

Jefferson County school districts are teaching drug prevention in a coordinated effort in observance of Red Ribbon Week.


In the Pine Bluff School District, Broadmoor Elementary School students discussed the dangers of drugs on Wednesday. Kindergartners through fifth-graders heard from teachers and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff cheerleading squad.


Broadmoor counselor Lashona Crater reviewed key messages with the students, asking them to repeated certain phrases.


"We want you to be drug-free for the rest of your lives," Crater said. "We know that by being drug-free, you will live a healthy life. … Do not put anything into your body that will hurt you."


The students will walk in a parade on Friday as part of a pledge against drugs, Crater said.


UAPB head cheer coach Karen Blunt spoke to the younger students on behalf of her team.


"We support our community and are here to tell the kids to be cool and stay away from drugs," Blunt said. "We have a lot of fans. We are thankful to be here and we will return."


The UAPB cheerleaders performed the Golden Lions fight song and other synchronized routine and asked the youngsters to repeat these lines: "I’m going to be drug- free. UAPB wants you to be drug-free."


The dancers called a few youngsters forward and encouraged them to follow their lead. UAPB dancers gave Golden Lions shirts and hats to the Broadmoor students.


In the Dollarway School District, Robert F. Morehead Middle School students are observing Red Ribbon Week with activities each day this week, counselor Andrea Mixon said.


"Our teachers show support to our students," Mixon said. "I have students tell me about a family member with a substance problem. It opens the door to a conversation."


Dollarway’s E.A.S.T. lab students brainstormed the themes.


"Our students took this on as a project. They came up with a theme with each day of the week," Mixon said. "They are making posters showing the dangers of drugs and tobacco."


On Monday they made pledge cards in the shape of a hand. These cards are being displayed on a banner in the building. On Tuesday the theme was tying a knot on drugs. Females were encouraged to wear a bow in their hair and males were encouraged to wear a bow tie.


On Wednesday the students were asked to wear red to show unity and support, Mixon said. On Thursday the theme is We Tune Out Drugs. As such, the teachers will play music while the students eat lunch.


"Friday is college awareness day because Dollarway is teaching students that their future will be without drugs," Mixon said. "Students will wear a college shirt because they will be ready for college and career."


"The kids get excited about Red Ribbon Week because it gives them a chance to do something different," Mixon said.


Watson Chapel schools are also observing Red Ribbon Week with special activities each day, Watson Chapel High School counselor Lois Chambless said.


"Kids are very receptive to our [drug prevention] message," Chambless said. "We built a simulated cemetery in the hallway with the names of famous people who died of drugs."


Watson Chapel students received red ribbons on Monday. There is a drawing each day awarded to a student who is wearing the ribbon. On Wednesday Chambless said the theme was Do Not be a Dumdum and students received lollipops. There is also a contest to guess the number of candies inside a jar.


White Hall Middle School science teacher and student counselor adviser Nita Wimberly and fellow adviser Amber Harvey spearheaded efforts in their district. They taught about drugs and bullying last week.


"Our middle school students wore goggles that simulate being under the influence of alcohol and drove around golf carts," Wimberly said. "We had an assembly with four women discussing being drug-free."


They showed photos of people before taking drugs and after taking drugs. They made a banner pledging their support to live without drugs and signed their names, Wimberly said.


White Hall teachers do not tolerate bullying, she said. Students learned this at the start of the academic year.


"Our principal has an open-door policy," Wimberly said. "Students know from the first week of school. We report bullies to the principal. There are no warnings. There is no room for error. … A lot of times bullies feel like they do not have any friends."