Red Ribbon Week promotes healthy habits


Nicole Schroeder

Students filed into the PAC to watch a young driver’s safety presentation and learn about the consequences of distractions and inexperience behind the wheel today during first hour. The presentation, hosted by the Missouri Department of Transportation, the Columbia Police Department, Think First Missouri and the Central Missouri CPCU Society Chapter, is just one of many events scheduled to take place this week as part of the annual RBHS Red Ribbon Week.
Red Ribbon Week is an annual event throughout the state of Missouri dedicated to promoting safe and healthy decisions in students. In the past, most events were directed toward drug and alcohol awareness and prevention. However, Master of Social Work practicum student Niki Vandable said this year, events will encompass other aspects of a healthy lifestyle as well, such as eating healthier foods and continuing with wellness checks after high school.
“Really, we’re trying to gear a lot of it more toward living healthy and maintaining a healthy lifestyle,” Vandable said. “It’s just always been about drug and alcohol awareness and prevention…. This year, we’re actually focusing more on healthy life choices versus the drug and alcohol components.”
The daily events this year included an opportunity to try healthy snacks and smoothies Monday, a presentation on the importance of wellness checks after high school Tuesday and a safe driving presentation this morning (Wednesday). A health and resource fair will take place in the commons Thursday during both lunch shifts. The week will finish with the opportunity to win a stress ball, some candy and a drawstring bag after completing a quiz over the week’s events.
While senior Casey Richenberger has not attended any of the Red Ribbon Week events, she said she still believes they convey an important message to the student body about making healthier life choices in their day-to-day lives.
“I think that’s important because not everyone has parents or a figure that tells them those things,” Richenberger said. “It shows people that you can eat healthy and it can taste good and it just shows them some of the options.”
Vandable agreed and said the Red Ribbon Week events can be helpful in introducing students to healthier ideas and activities that they might not have considered otherwise.
“It’s always, I feel, important to bring the resources to kids so that they know, if maybe Mom and Dad can’t help them with something, then it gives them more control in their lives to be able to either know where to turn or be able to help themselves,” Vandable said. “It’s a way to … just to be able to share things that maybe, some kids aren’t exposed to and broaden their horizons.”
By Nicole Schroeder
photo by Caylea Erickson