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 Red Ribbon Theme

Introducing...The 2016 Red Ribbon Theme: YOLO. Be Drug Free.™

We are delighted to announce the 2016 National Red Ribbon Week Theme: "YOLO. Be Drug Free.™"

The theme was created by Kristopher "Jeremiah" Oakes and Logan Brehm, sixth graders at Claysburg-Kimmel Elementary School in Claysburg, Pennsylvania. Danielle Simpson, school counselor at Claysburg-Kimmel, encouraged all sixth graders at the school to submit their ideas for the Red Ribbon Week theme contest. The school will receive national recognition and $500 in Red Ribbon Theme merchandise from Nimco, Inc.

Both students had the same idea for the theme after hearing their 6th grade teacher Ms. Woolridge use the term “YOLO” throughout the year to remind her students that they only live once so they should make good decisions.

L-R: Matt Hall (Principal), Caleb Brehm (older brother of Logan), Alex Brehm (Father of Logan), Jennifer Brehm (Mother of Logan), Logan and Kristopher are holding the sign, Steven Oakes (Father of Kristopher), Deanna Oakes (Mother of Kristopher), and Danielle Simpson (school counselor).

“We are so proud of Jeremiah,” said his mother, Deanna Oakes. “There’s a drug epidemic in our area. I’ve always talked to Jeremiah about the importance of being drug free and making good decisions. I know he’s paying attention and I couldn’t be more proud.”

“I’m proud and amazed,” said Jennifer Brehm, Logan’s mom. “Drug prevention is so important. This is so very big and very wonderful. It’s hard not to gush. I don’t have the words to say what I’d like to say about him and what he’s done. I think it’s awesome.”

In an interview with the local 6th grader Logan Brehm told WTAJ news, "[the theme] reminds people that you only do live once, that it is important to stay healthy and drug-free."

Claysburg Kimmel celebrates Red Ribbon Week each year, recognizing the importance of drug prevention for students’ futures. This year, thanks to winning the theme contest, their efforts were recognized widely by their local community. In addition to tremendous local media attention, local businesses worked together to give the boys a special bonus prize with $300 worth of merchandise and prizes.

“Our community really pulled together and supported these boys,” said Deanna. “It was amazing the amount of support they received. Logan said ‘it’s like Christmas all over again.’”

“These are the kinds of things we read about in our educator magazines,” said Danielle Simpson, counselor. “We don’t ever believe these things can happen to us. We are thrilled.”

Want to take a stab at next year's theme? Learn more at www.redribbon.org/enter.

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