More than 400 students, parents, faculty, staff and volunteers at the Juanita Gardine Elementary School took to the streets Thursday shouting “YOLO – Be Drug-Free” as they participated in the school’s annual Red Ribbon Week March.
Led by the school’s drum corps, the Juanita Gardine School family marched west from the campus in Christiansted, passing the Golden Rock Shopping Center to the Almeric Christian District Court, and turned back through the John F. Kennedy housing community before returning to the school.
“We have our students sign drug-free sheets as we encourage them to be drug free, and we marched to let the community know that we are teaching our children to live a drug-free life,” Principal Barbara McGregor said in a statement from the school.
Since initiated by the National Family Partnership in 1985, communities across the U.S. have held Red Ribbon Week in October to encourage young people to live a drug-free life. This year’s effort follows the theme: “YOLO. Be Drug Free.”
Sixth-graders Kristopher “Jeremiah” Oakes and Logan Brehm at the Claysburg-Kimmel Elementary School in Pennsylvania created the winning theme after hearing their teacher use the term “YOLO” in class to remind students “You only live once” so they should make good decisions daily.
Other Red Ribbon Week activities are planned at Juanita Gardine and other schools in the St. Croix district.