Middle and High School Students Observe Red Ribbon Week

If you happened to notice the red pinwheels spinning in the carpool line or adorning the high school building, it is a telltale sign that the middle and high school were participating in Red Ribbon Week activities.  Red Ribbon Week is a national campaign that aims to bring drug and alcohol awareness to students. This year, Hebrew Academy’s theme was “Love letters from your brain” with the tagline, “Love your brain! Love, your brain”. Each day, middle and high school students received a “love letter” from their brain explaining the various negative effects that early drug and alcohol use has on the body and brain.  In middle school, Dr. London presented lessons on vaping and electronic cigarettes. In high school, students heard from a variety of speakers who brought different perspectives on the dangers of substance use. Shayna Brittni, a Nova Southeastern college sophomore, shared why she made the conscious choice as a high school freshman to stay away from drugs and alcohol. Pulmonologist, Dr. Ari Ciment, a Hebrew Academy alumnus and parent, gave an incredible presentation on the medical implications of using substances while also tying in a Jewish values perspective on why we must care for our bodies. High school students also heard from Ralph Gelly, who shared his struggle with addiction and the lessons he learned along the way.  In her introduction to the high school students, Dr. London explained that when conceptualizing the Red Ribbon Week campaign, we try to avoid telling students to “Just Say No” because telling adolescents what to do tends to be ineffective. Instead, she hopes to arm students with as much information as possible so that when the time comes, students can make educated, well informed and mindful choices.