- Designate a Red Ribbon Week coordinator and committee from students and staff to plan activities for the school.
- Distribute red ribbons to students, making sure they understand what the ribbon represents.
- Launch your program with the release of red balloons – as many as possible.
- Kick-off Red Ribbon Week in conjunction with homecoming, an important home football game, or another popular community event.
- Form a people chain on the football field to spell the words ”DRUG-FREE” and have it photographed from the air. Or have students circle the school, locking hands to signify that they are banding together to keep the school drug-free. Try to get local press coverage for either event.
- Schedule a ”Band Against Drugs” musical assembly.
- Involve the whole family in your Red Ribbon Week celebration with a Family Fun Night, complete with games, booths and other activities.
- Host a special Red Ribbon Week Food Day in the school cafeteria, serving as many red foods as possible (for example, red apples, watermelon, pizza, spaghetti sauce, tomato juice, etc.).
- ”Say Boo To Drugs” with a special Halloween Prevention Party.
- Sponsor ”Hugs Not Drugs Day,” by inviting younger students to bring in their favorite stuffed animal.
- Sponsor a contest (essay, poster, poem, theme song, etc.) for Red Ribbon Week.
- Stage a ”Car Caravan” and decorate cars with red ribbons and caravan to the site of a rally, game, dance, etc.
- Sponsor a ”Slam Dunk – Drugs Are Junk,” basketball game during Red Ribbon Week.
- Encourage students to write and then sign their own personal pledges to live drug free.
- Design Red Ribbon Week banners to hang in front of the school or in a prominent place inside.
Ideas for banners include:
- “Drug Free and Proud”
- “Hand in Hand Let's Take a Stand”
with student signed red hand prints
- “Take a Stand on Drugs”
with student signed red footprints
- For younger students, have a coloring contest where they paint or color a picture with a prevention theme. For older students, have them design and complete their own prevention painting.
- Invite all students to sign their names on red ribbons and send them to Washington as a symbol of unity and concern for others.
- Use your school mascot or choose a special Red Ribbon Week campaign mascot to dress up and spread your message throughout the school.
- Conduct a Red Ribbon Week program for parents with skits, songs and other student performances.
- Decorate the hallways for the Red Ribbon Week theme; include things like red paper chains or student hand prints cut from red paper.
- Organize a pep rally with contests between grades for the best anti-drug cheer.
- Organize drug education programs and integrate alcohol and other drug information into all curriculums during Red Ribbon Week.
- Offer half-price admission at a home ball game to anyone wearing a red ribbon.
- Light red candles at half-time and spend a moment of silence to remember those students who have lost their lives to drugs and alcohol or the substance abuse of others, repeat the pledge to be drug-free.
- Hand out red suckers to students, faculty and staff. Use the slogan “Lick the Drug and Alcohol Problem.”
- Host a Drug-Free Party at the end of Red Ribbon Week. Students can play volleyball and basketball, watch videos, participate in contests, have pizza and dance.
- Give prizes to students who still have their red ribbon on the Friday of Red Ribbon Week or have drawings throughout Red Ribbon Week requiring that to win students must be wearing their red ribbon. Prizes could be donated from local businesses.
- Have daily intercom messages that highlight the campaign activities for the day or deliver a message about the harmful effects of drug use.
- Make paper bricks, have each student put his or her name on one as a pledge to be drug free. Build a wall to “join together to be drug free.”
- Ask the high school art class to make “Drugs are Garbage” signs for the trash cans at school and around town.
- Develop and play drug awareness games at school such as trivia contests, Jeopardy, bingo, scavenger hunt for “Red Ribbon Clues” or “Beat the Clock.”
- Have a student sponsor a teacher and check to see that the teacher wears his or her red ribbon every day.
Clothing Theme Ideas
- Sponsor a Red Day or Red Rally where everyone is encouraged to wear red – red socks, red hats, red shirts, maybe even red face paint. Give an award to the class with students covered in the most red.
- Ask students to participate in “Give Drugs the Slip Day” with everyone wearing slippers.
- Hold a “Sock It To Drugs Day” and ask everyone to wear the craziest socks they can find.
- Make a “Boot Out Drugs Day” with everyone wearing boots.
- Invite students to wear headbands or bandannas for a “Band Against Drugs” theme.
- Ask students to wear the craziest ties they can find for a “Tie Down Drugs” event.
- Wear clothing inside out for a “Don't Let Drugs Turn You” Day.
- Have a “Living Drug-Free Is No Sweat” day with everyone wearing sweat clothes to school.
- Ask everyone to wear sneakers for “Don't Let Drugs Sneak Up On You” day.
- Wear clothes backward for “Turn Your Back On Drugs” day.
- On “Shade Out Drugs Day,” suggest that everyone wear sunglasses.
- Have a “Red Head Day” and encourage students to wear something red on their heads.