Schools recognize Red Ribbon Week

Published 12:46 pm Monday, October 29, 2007

By By Adrienne McKenzie
Students in the Atmore area have had a double dose of drug awareness information this past week with Red Ribbon Week.
Huxford Elementary School, Rachel Patterson Elementary School and Escambia County Middle School have had special visitors from K-9s throughout the week, which was exciting for the students.
"We had a lot of neat things," Huxford Elementary School counselor Carol Middleton said. "We had the helicopter and drug dogs with the (drug) task force and McGruff the Crime Dog. They (students) got to go around and pet all the dogs. The kids were just beside themselves. They got to pet the dogs and look into the helicopter. It was a really neat week and the kids really enjoyed it."
Chief Mike Lambert with the Flomaton Police Department set up the special visit with the K-9s throughout the week. The Escambia County Sheriff's Office, the Escambia County Drug Task Force and FPD were in charge of the activities.
HES had many other fun activities for Red Ribbon Week. Each day the students received a sticker to wear. Last Wednesday it was "Wear Red Day" at Huxford. Students were permitted to wear red shirts with their uniform bottoms. Thursday was the day the K-9s visited HES. And on Friday the students discovered who won the school's "Hornets Are Drug-Free" poster contest.
Huxford even had drug-free related lunches including red slushies last Wednesday.
Rachel Patterson Elementary School students had their special K-9 visit last Wednesday. It was funded and supported by the Escambia County Sheriff's Office, Atmore Police Department, Brewton Police Department, Flomaton Police Department, East Brewton Police Department, Poarch Police Department, Escambia County Drug Task Force and the Escambia County School Board and superintendent Billy Hines.
"If we made a difference in at least one child's life then we did our job," Lambert said at the Rachel Patterson program last Wednesday.
Other RPES activities during last week's Red Ribbon Week included a representative from the Child Advocacy Center presenting Halloween safety tips to the kindergarten students and the physical education teachers showed and discussed the video "All About Drugs" with the students. Students learned about medicines, tobacco, alcohol and illegal drugs and how to practice making healthy choices.
A.C. Moore Elementary School and Escambia Academy students will have the opportunity to visit with police officers, drug task force personnel and pet the K-9 dogs during the upcoming week.
A.C. Moore students did have planned activities during last week also. The school's theme was "Drug Free and Proud." On Tuesday the students received a drug-free bracelet. They also received a paper grocery bag provided by Winn Dixie and Southern Family Markets. The students were to decorate the grocery bags with a drug-free message and return them to the school by Thursday morning. The Top 3 third and fourth grade bag contest winners received special surprises. Also, the bags will be returned to grocery stores where the cashier will use them to bag customers' items, providing them with a drug-free message.
Students were also asked to bring new adult socks and liquid soap to be donated to the Atmore Nursing Home. Total, the school gathered 150 pairs of socks and 124 liquid soaps.
Escambia County Middle School held their Red Ribbon Ceremony Friday afternoon. The ECMS choir performed "Stand By Me" and words of inspiration were read. The commander of the Drug Task Force Keith Hutchins was also on-hand with K-9 officers Jason Yoder and Matt Rabren and K-9 partners Chewy and Avalon.
"These guys train really hard with these dogs," Hutchins said. "And these K-9s will put their life on the line for you and for them (the officers)."
For more information on Red Ribbon Week, visit

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