On Wednesday, students at School 4 in Dunkirk released 297 red balloons into the sky after first parading around the block with anti-drug signs.
This week area schools are observing Red Ribbon Week, a national anti-drug celebration sponsored by National Family Partnership. The point of the observance is to raise awareness of the dangers of drugs through community events.
Kimberlee Texter, principal at School 4, said, "The earlier the message gets to the kids, the more likely it will stay with them."
Students parade around the block with anti-drug signs
Texter, the faculty, and staff walked with the students down Central Avenue to Seventh Street, up Washington Avenue and across a short stretch of Lucas Avenue and back down Central to the front of the school.
Kindergarten led the parade, wearing red headbands with an anti-drug message.
Cindy Kreb's fifth-graders were last in line. Encouraged by their teacher, the students waved their signs, sang a song and chanted "no more drugs."
OBSERVER Photo by Diane R. Chodan
To mark Red Ribbon Week, students at School 4 in Dunkirk paraded around the block with anti-drug signs. When they returned, each child was given a red balloon. The balloons were released in a group.
When the students returned to the front of the school building, several members of the Parent, Teacher Organization (PTO) met them with bunches of red balloons. Each child received a balloon and the instructions to hold on to it. Although there were a few balloons that made an early escape, the majority were launched on cue. Each balloon carried a message, asking the finder to notify the school where it was found.
Colleen Newton, president of the PTO, explained that there are 247 children enrolled at the school and that the PTO provided the balloons.
She said, "This worked really well."
Red Ribbon Week At School 4
Monday: Wear Red
Tuesday: Favorite Team Jersey Day
Wednesday: Parade and Balloon Launch
Thursday: Recognize Role Models Day
Friday: Picture Con-test
Newton released the remaining balloons in a bunch. She explained she couldn't get them apart fast enough to release them one at a time.
There are a variety of Red Ribbon activities this week at School 4. On Monday, students wore red clothing to school. Tuesday was favorite team jersey day. Students were invited to wear jerseys from their favorite teams to symbolize they are working as a team to create awareness.
Today, the students will recognize their role models. On Friday, the students will create pictures on the anti-drug campaign. Each participant receives two tickets for a Buffalo Bison game.
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