Children of parents who talk to their teens regularly about drugs are 42% less likely to use drugs than those who don't, yet only a quarter of teens report having these conversations.

2016 National Red Ribbon Photo Contest Winners

Thank you to everyone who participated in the 2016 National Red Ribbon Photo Contest. We received hundreds of entries and close to 100,000 votes in support of your entries. The contest is an opportunity to involve families and schools in spreading the Red Ribbon Week message widely in neighborhoods, communities and on social media. We are delighted to celebrate the following families, schools and communities working together to promote healthy, drug free kids.

Congratulations to the 20 winners from around the country who received the most votes in each category and region.

School Decoration Winners

Region 1 Winner Kelly Fox Braintree High School Braintree, MA

“What I liked most about the contest was seeing how many people were involved, pledging to live a healthy, drug-free life and I liked that it brought students and teachers together. We want to use the money to educate students about the risks of opioid abuse.”
Kelly Fox, Mother

Region 2 Winner James Pierson Red Bank Middle School Red Bank, NJ

“Drug prevention is so important and middle school is an important age to receive that message. What I love most about Red Ribbon Week is engaging the kids. We had 200 students involved in the photo for the contest and it certainly helped us further our conversations about being drug free.”
James Pierson, Vice Principal

Region 3 Winner Darla Allerton Ingomar Middle School Pittsburgh, PA

“The contest was a great activity to start important conversations with our students about drug prevention. Every student participated in the contest by naming their natural high on a paw print (because our school mascot is a tiger). Parents voted and also received prevention tips and information. Everyone had a role and shared ownership of this project. We are very excited for our school community!”
Darla Allerton, School Counselor

Region 4 Winner Paola Stauffer Orlando Science Elementary Orlando, FL

“Red Ribbon Week is one of the most exciting and fun weeks of the entire school year. If you ask the students what their favorite week is, they always say ‘Red Ribbon.’ We decided to enter the contest because we liked the challenge and we knew it was a way to get the families involved and pass on the drug prevention message. Everyone participated.”
Paola Stauffer, School Administrator

“The contest allowed our students to see how working together can help promote a great cause. Our plan is to reinvest the prize money back into next year's Red Ribbon Week and into our character education program.”
Michael Singleton, Principal

Region 5 Winner Kelly Prichard Allen East High School Harrod, OH

“We displayed our poster in front of the football field so when people came to see the games, they would see the poster too. Drugs have a lasting impact in all stages of life. Kids nowadays are too busy and not equipped to deal with stress, so they turn to drugs to relieve pressure and escape from negative things. It’s important to teach skills to avoid them and to be aware of the dangers.”
Kelly Prichard, Teacher & SADD Advisor

“It contest an avenue to allow conversation to become positive and it helped because students were not afraid to voice their opinions about bad decision making. Red Ribbon Week makes it cool to do the right thing.”
Scott Rose, Teacher

Region 6 Winner Dhanielle Atencio Milan Elementary School Milan, NM

“The contest helped us talk to our students about living drug free. We explained to them that is was for drug prevention and with that we did a lot of teambuilding. We showed them that it took teamwork to take the pictures and it takes teamwork to not do drugs. It brought a sense of community. We are sort of a small school so it was great that everyone got involved. ”
Danielle Atencio, School Counselor

Region 7 Winner Kasie Webb Cameron R-I School District Cameron, MO

“I’m very excited and proud of my students. We have a big drug problem in our area. Red Ribbon Week adds value to what we are trying to teach our students and kids get rewarded. If you make it fun, students will remember. By talking about their goals, we are helping students achieve them. ”
Kasie Webb, Guidance

Region 8 Winner Annalee Johnson Naples Elementary School Vernal, UT

“This was a great way to pull the entire school together. This year's theme, “Y.O.L.O.,” was a fun way to talk to the students about reasons why it is not good to get involved with drugs. Instead on saying things like "drugs are dangerous" we focused on the positive side and talked about the good things you can do in life when you stay away from drugs.”
Analee Johnson, Parent

“According to parents and staff, this was the best Red Ribbon week our school has had in many years. It was fun, engaging and kept all involved. Our students were excited to take part in the activities, and because of the activities, were more open to talking about avoiding drugs, staying safe, etc.”
Deborah Y. Chatham, Principal

Region 9 Winner Jennifer Ferrara Charles G. Emery Elementary School Buena Park, CA

“We love Red Ribbon Week because it’s all about community and healthy living. By entering the photo contest, it creates school spirit and gives all of the kids and their families something to do that generates conversation and discussion about drug prevention for those 17 days. It helps to go beyond the one week of Red Ribbon Week. It’s a life commitment.”
Jennifer Ferrara, School Counselor

“Participating in the contest definitely helped teach our students about drugs. We focus on making good choices and respecting oneself. Students need to understand the risks involved and how to make good choices for their future. We will use the prize money to continue preventing drug use in the future.”
Julie Linnecke, Pricipal

Region 10 Winner Jean Zuber Riley Creek School Gold Beach, OR

“We are thrilled! Drug prevention is so important because if we don't talk about it and how we need to be drug free, students will think it is normal and ok without realizing all the negative consequences. It makes them aware of the consequences of taking those risks.”
Jean Zuber, Student Council Advisor & Teacher

$1,000 Bonus Prize - Sponsored by ARCpoint Labs

Jeniffer Gude Air Base K-8 Center for International Education Homestead, Florida

“It's something that the whole school took part in. It brought us all together. Sometimes it's hard to get the 1st graders to do something with the 5th and 6th graders. This initiative is a way to prepare our students for the future and try to have them make the best decisions and have a healthy way of living.”
Jeniffer Gude, Teacher

Home Decoration Winners

Region 1 Winner Rivera Family Paul R. Baird Middle School Ludlow, MA

“We live on a busy street so a lot of people were able to see our Red Ribbon Week decoration. When they saw it, it brought up questions and we had the chance to talk about the importance of staying away from drugs. This has been a wonderful opportunity to bring drug awareness to our town and I'm very proud of my son.”
Isabel Rivera, Mother

Region 2 Winner Johnston Family Geneseo Central School Geneseo, NY

“The contest was a great way to communicate to my children about being drug free while displaying a positive message in a creative way. It is not just us preaching to them but rather focusing on the good things and actually doing something to get them involved. My daughter, Lydia picked the theme and it combined her two favorite things, dancing and music.”
Joan Johnston, Mother

“It is important to give students the facts [about drugs] at an early age and to help them develop good decision-making skills. I think this is an outstanding accomplishment for the Johnston family, our students and our community.”
Craig Veley, Middle School/High School Assistant Princiapl

Region 3 Winner Spencer Family Abingdon Elementary School Williamsburg, VA

“I loved being creative with the decoration and sharing the message online. People who walked by my home saw the message, but I reached many more people by spreading the message on social media. The school helped spread the word because drug prevention is really important to the school. Everyone was behind it and it’s great because now the school has money to help further the cause.”
Marissa Spencer, Teacher

Region 4 Winner Trought Family Grayson High School Grayson, GA

“What I liked most about participating in the contest was the positivity. There’s so much negativity in the world and this brought the community together. You cannot turn on the news or the television in general without some horrible story about drug abuse. Red Ribbon Week gives kids knowledge and the incentive to spread the word to their peers not to do it.”
Jean Trought, Mother

Region 5 Winner McGovern Family St. Eugene School Chicago, IL

“We decided to enter the contest as a family project to support drug prevention, since our children are learning about the topic at school. The goal was to have the message hit home with our kids. I believe this message shouldn't be a week; it should be a lifelong thing. As a bonus, we also brought awareness to our neighborhood.”
Susie McGovern, Mother

Region 6 Winner McDonald Family Mountain Peak Elementary School Midlothian, TX

“The contest created an opportunity to have a discussion with our kids. This topic is sort of taboo and we usually shield our children from things like this, but with this project, we were able to talk about it with them. It is not easy to explain the difference between medicine and drugs. I'm a cancer survivor so it helped us explain to our daughters what drugs make us healthy vs. drugs that don't make us healthy.”
Jackie McDonald, Mother

“Our organization has been conducting Red Ribbon Week activities for years. We are very excited and blessed that the McDonald family showed support for her community and Red Ribbon Week. The contest encouraged students to learn more about the purpose of Red Ribbon Week and how substances both legal and illegal can have harmful effects.”
Tom Kowatch, Program Coordinator, Reach Council

Region 7 Winner Paulson Family Dora R-III Springfield, MO

“I was proud to decorate my home with a drug free message. When neighborhood kids came trick-or-treating, it sparked their curiosity and I was able to spread the message to them and their parents. I’m really glad I participated."
Brett Paulson

It was great to see the kids rally together in the contest to try to prevent drug use and to win. I think it is an easier process to educate and prevent drug abuse than to overcome it.”
Beverly Davison, Teacher

Region 8 Winner Hejna Family Gayville-Volin High School Yankton, SD

“The contest really gave us an optimal time to talk about drugs to our kids. Since they were hearing about it at school and then decorating our home, it just made sense to have that conversation. The contest also helped us spread a positive message in our community and beyond. A lot of people from neighboring towns drive past our house on the way to work and they loved the message.”
Staci Larson, Mother

Region 9 Winner Oliva Family Country Hills Elementary Brea, CA

“I felt like the entire experience was to build a stronger connection among the children and the adults in their lives, in our community. Our family, friends, school and community came together as a united front. We wanted to do our part and help make an impact. When we lead by example, our children are more likely to see the importance of living a drug free life and follow that by making healthy choices.”
Josie Oliva, Mother

“We want all of our students and families to live a long, healthy, happy life, and choosing to be drug-free and educated about drugs is the first step. We cannot thank the Oliva Family enough for taking this upon themselves on behalf of our school.”
Trish Walsh, Principal

Region 10 Winner Carino Family North Valley High School Grants Pass, OR

“I love that the contest involves the family and the school at the same time. Drugs can destroy families. If families are destroyed, it creates a domino effect. Crime rates go up, kids drop out of school, and so on. I'm so happy my daughter's school will receive $1000 for drug prevention.”
Cora Carino, Mother

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