Pinkerton honors Red Ribbon Week
DERRY — Pinkerton Academy students honored Red Ribbon Week, Oct. 23-26, by signing pledges to live drug free.
Red Ribbon Week is a national drug prevention campaign that began in 1985. Pinkerton marked the week this year with daily themes and classroom education led by prevention specialist Julie Donovan and student members of the Academy Mentor Program to draw attention to the campaign.
After several years of not recognizing the week, Donovan worked with Dean of Students Susanne Tartarilla to bring it back to campus. In its third year, Red Ribbon Week is part of a larger program that Donovan is working to implement in the school community.
“Pinkerton is trying to raise awareness for both the students and larger community about current drug trends and offer education in order to prevent drug and alcohol use in our youth,” Donovan said. "Red Ribbon Week is a conversation starter.”
This year Donovan established the Positive Action Committee, a club for students who want to live drug free and help educate their peers of the dangers of substance abuse and make Pinkerton a positive experience for all students. She recently held an information session on the dangers of vaping among high school youth.
“We are in the midst of an epidemic,” said Donovan. “Parents, teachers, and members of the community need to know they have resources to help them. It’s my hope that Pinkerton will lead the discussions on these important matters.”
Tartarilla added it's up to educators to help lead the way.
“We are responsible, as educators, to teach students beyond just the lessons in the classroom,” said Tartarilla. “The creation of the Prevention Specialist position and the work Julie has done are reflections of our efforts to address these important issues.”