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School Kids
Kids Blowing Bubbles

Red Ribbon Week is October 23-31

Our list of suggested activities for elementary students and families focuses on building protective factors, habits that protect against substance use and other negative outcomes.

Tip: Parents' opportunity to impact their children's choice to use or avoid drugs is greatest BEFORE their child has been exposed. Red Ribbon Week is the perfect opportunity to share information with parents and families about how to have these conversations.


Choose any five activities below to create a custom week-long Red Ribbon Week  program that works for your club, school, daycare, or youth group!

2. Choose Activities

Below we have listed more than 50 activities in six different categories. Choose any five activities to build your own custom Red Ribbon Week program highlighting one activity each day. Try to pick from a few different categories to keep it fresh. Work with officials at your venue to plan activities that are both appropriate and feasible.

Red Ribbon

Use a read-aloud story to engage students in discussions of healthy choices, relieving stress, or
being a good friend
 with these titles recommended for K-5 by librarians at the Webster Public Library.

Stories can be read by a special guest or even video taped and played remotely. The following are a few titles you might consider. See more titles.

Nurturing positive relationships/being a good friend:

  • My Friend by Diggs, Taye

  • We Disagree by Murguia, Bethanie

  • A Letter to Amy by Keats, Ezra Jack

  • City Dog, Country Frog by Willems, Mo

  • Lost and Found by Jeffers, Oliver

Finding and pursuing your passions/interests:

  • Hosea Plays On by Blasi, Kathleen  

  • The Bear and the Piano by Litchfield, David       

  • Mae Among the Stars by Ahmed, Roda  

  • Emmanuel's Dream: the True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah by Thompson, Laurie Ann

  • Me -- Jane by McDonnell, Patrick

Expressing yourself creatively:

  • Art & Max by Wiesner, David

  • The Dot by Reynolds, Peter  

  • The Book of Mistakes by Luyken, Corinna

  • The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes by Pett, Mark

Physical health and wellness:

  • Jabari Jumps by Cornwall, Gaia

  • Stretch by Cronin, Doreen

  • See what we eat! : A First Book of Healthy Eating by Ritchie, Scot

  • Go, Go, Grapes!  A Fruit Chant by Sayre, April Pulley

  • Rotten Ralph Feels Rotten by Gantos, Jack

  • Sleepy Bird by Tankard, Jeremy

  • The Napping House by Wood, Audrey

Nurturing respect and kindness for self and others:

  • We're All Wonders by Palacio, R. J

  • Stand Straight, Ella Kate: The True Story of a Real Giant by Klise, Kate  

  • Life by Rylant, Cynthia

  • Lotus & Feather by Jiang, Ji-li  

  • Miss Rumphius by Cooney, Barbara  

  • The Rabbit Listened by Doerrfeld, Cori

See more titles recommended by the Webster Public Library.

Future Focus

Help students make connections between being drug-free and having a bright future.

Plan activities to get kids thinking and talking about their healthy future:

  • Talk about what kids want to be when they grow up and how staying healthy will help them achieve it.

  • No-prep writing project

  • "Flash forward" Have kids draw themselves as a healthy adult.

  • For 4th and 5th graders, show a Natural High video like Terry Kennedy – Pro Skateboarder and discuss what activities kids find naturally exhilarating.

  • "My future is drug free" – Dress for your future profession or hobby.


Help students appreciate what they have and focus on the positive.

Help kids recognize and appreciate the positive influences in their lives:

Healthy Habits

Help students identify and practice healthy coping strategies, skills, and habits.

Develop tools that increase resilience:

Family Engagement

Inform parents of the critical influence their attitudes play, how to start conversations with kids, and where to seek help.

Share information with parents and families:

Dress-Up Days

Use a theme day to create enthusiasm and start conversations.

Kick-off or close your week with a themed dress-up day:

  • “Sock it to drugs!” – Wear crazy socks.

  • “Team up against drugs” – Wear sports jerseys.

  • “Don’t get mixed up in drugs” – Wear mismatched clothes.

  • “Too bright for drugs” – Wear neon clothes.

  • “Don’t get tied up in drugs.” – Wear a tie.

  • "My future is drug free" – Dress for your future profession or hobby.

3. Publicize Your Program

Happy Circle


Use all methods available to tell families about your program:

  • Customize, print and send home/email a Red Ribbon Week flyer.

  • Attach a PDF of the flyer to emails, newsletters, your website and social media.

  •  Share additional resources with families so they can reinforce lessons at home.

  • Share these graphics on social media to get attention.

  • Use hashtag #RedRibbonWeek on your social posts to increase exposure, and @WHENdfcc so we can share your posts.

Teacher and Kids in Library

Share your success!

We can't wait to see the program you design and the positive impact you have! Post photos and video on social media with #RedRibbonWeek so we can find & amplify your successes!

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