Red Ribbon Week, which first started in 1988, is the nation’s oldest and largest drug prevention program in the nation, reaching millions of Americans during the last week of October every year. By wearing red ribbons and participating in community anti-drug events, students pledge to live a drug-free life and pay tribute to DEA Special Agent Enriqué “Kiki” Camarena who died in the line of duty. Today, it is estimated that over 80 million youth and adults participate in Red Ribbon Week every year.
“Red Ribbon Week encourages our entire community to adopt healthy, drug-free lifestyles,” said Dr. Susan Ridley, Livingston Program Supervisor for Community Service and LMAC Coordinator. “The campaign brings together parents, schools, and businesses as we look for innovative ways to keep kids and communities drug free.”
“In addition to handing out red ribbons and bracelets, and sponsoring a range of programs and speakers in celebration of Red Ribbon Week (October 24-31), LMAC and the Livingston community participated in Planting the Promise.” Ridley explained, “Red mums and trees will be planted around Town including at the Schools, Community Centers, Town Hall, Library, at the Memorial Garden, and by the Homecoming Light as a commitment to engaging in healthier activities.”
The Township of Livingston is a wonderful community that offers so many opportunities for adults and older adults, children and teens to choose a healthy lifestyle. These include:
- The Senior Advisory Committee, which is responsible for advising the SYLS Program Supervisor for Adult and Senior Enrichment on the needs of senior citizens, making recommendations and suggestions for senior programs and social activities that will maintain or improve senior citizen’s quality of life. For information on how to join the Senior Advisory Committee, contact Liliana Branquinho at 973-535-7925 x 260, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to www.livingstonsyls.org .
- The Livingston Youth and Community Services (LYCS Leaders) provides after-school, community-based educational programs teaching leadership, healthy life choices, social skills, and substance abuse prevention education to students grades 1-12 in the Livingston School District. In addition, LYCS offers community service opportunities, expressive arts programs, family socials, and co-sponsors community events. Contact Susan Ridley at 973-535-7925 x 703, email email@example.com or go to www.livingstonlycs.org for more information about LYCS Leaders.
- Shining Stars, Adaptive Sports and Recreational Programs for Exceptional Children provides a wide-range of inclusive activities for children with special needs. In addition, Shining Stars programs provides opportunities for students to volunteer as “shadows” to help children participate within the parameters of the program. For more information about adaptive programs and/or to volunteer as a “shadow” contact 973-535-7925 x 403, email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.livingstonshiningstars.org.
- The Teen Advisory Group helps plan library events and earn volunteer hours by working on library projects. Any teens interested in joining should call the library and talk to Young Adult Librarian Karen DeWilde at 973-992-4600 or go to www.livingston.bccls.org.
- The Livingston Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey has a mission of empowering girls by building courage, confidence, and character, and to make the world a better place. For more information about Girl Scouts, go to gshnj.org.
- Livingston Pack 16 Cub Scouts emphasizes caring, nurturing relationships between boys and their parents, adult leaders and friends. Cub Scouts is about having fun but with a purpose. The Cub Scouts help to develop good character, spiritual growth, good citizenship, good sportsmanship and fitness, improve family understanding, support respectful relationships, personal achievement, community service, fun and adventure, and prepare them for Boy Scouts. For more information on joining Cub Scouting in Livingston visit www.livingstonpack16.org.
- Livingston Boy Scouts Troop 12 and Pack 12 fosters self-reliance, initiative, courage, and resourcefulness as well as community service, leadership skills, and a keen respect for the basic rights of all people. The program achieves the Boy Scouts of America’s objectives of developing character, citizenship, and personal fitness qualities among youth by focusing on a vigorous program of outdoor activities. For information about Boy Scout Troop 12 go to www.troop12livingstonnj.org.
As community members we all need to be more aware of the seriousness of drug abuse, and especially of the negative impact it has on children. So please join LMAC by talking to your children and encouraging a “no use” message. Visit www.lmacnj.org for more ideas on how to celebrate Red Ribbon week, call 973-535-7925 x 703, or email email@example.com. LMAC is funded by a grant from the Governor’s Council on Alcohol and Drugs (GCADA).