LVCSD students are learning that respect comes in more than one form. This message was driven home during Red Ribbon Week, which emphasized respecting oneself and others while promoting healthy decision-making.

With support from the high school’s Students Against Destructive Decisions club, Red Ribbon Week included presentations, projects and conversations that revolved around doing the right thing. SADD members visited elementary and middle school classes to discuss this topic. 

At the elementary level, the high school students read a story to the children called “Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes” to illustrate the power of positive thinking and healthy coping strategies. At the conclusion of the lesson, the group effectively evaluated student-learning outcomes by having the elementary students write a healthy habit or coping skill on a photo of a sneaker and coloring in that photo. The sneakers will be added to a school mural to reinforce the lesson.

Elementary students also created their own colorful paper hands, which will be joined together to demonstrate unity.

At the middle school, SADD members facilitated an activity about decision-making called “The Story of Jenny,” which demonstrated how choices can be analyzed and broken down to make the best and safest decisions. 

The entire middle school and high school student body participated in a presentation by Elissa Kravitz and Jerry Saludi of the Farley Project, whose presentation and breakout session focused on respect and included stories about their own bullying experiences. Students were invited to discuss their personal experiences as well during this powerful group conversation.

“This is not a new message for LVCSD students, as respect is taught and practiced every day in each of the schools, but Red Ribbon Week is an opportunity to reinforce this positive behavior,” said Roseann Grasso, co-advisor of SADD. 

Even Aretha Franklin drove the message home, as her popular song “Respect” was used as the passing music between periods at the middle school and high school all week.