Down­ing­town stu­dents ‘plant the prom­ise’

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Gin­ger Rae Dun­bar gdun­bar@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @GingerDun­bar on Twit­ter

More than 400 red tulip bulbs were planted around three Down­ing­town schools to raise aware­ness about liv­ing a drug-free life.

Com­mu­ni­ties That Care (CTC) and mem­bers of the Youth Pre­ven­tion Club at Down­ing­town’s three high schools, along with other stu­dents and fac­ulty mem­bers par­tic­i­pated in “plant the prom­ise.” The na­tional ini­tia­tive, also known as the Red Rib­bon Cam­paign, is the old­est and largest drug pre­ven­tion pro­gram in the na­tion. Held each Oc­to­ber, schools, churches, busi­nesses and

oth­ers par­tic­i­pate in plant­ing red tulip bulbs in and around their com­mu­ni­ties. The red tulips bloom in the spring dur­ing Na­tional Al­co­hol Aware­ness Month in April to re­mind peo­ple of the im­por­tance of lead­ing a drug free life.

The Red Rib­bon cam­paign was de­vel­oped after DEA agent En­rique “Kiki” Ca­marena was mur­dered in 1985 while work­ing to un­cover the iden­ti­ties of key mem­ber of a Mex­i­can drug car­tel. In 1986 the Red Rib­bon Cel­e­bra­tion was cre­ated in honor of Ca­marena and wear­ing a red rib­bon showed an in­di­vid­ual’s com­mit­ment to fight il­le­gal drug use. To­day, it is es­ti­mated that more than 80 mil­lion youth and adults par­tic­i­pate in Red Rib­bon Week every year. This is the first time that the Down­ing­town Area School Dis­trict par­tic­i­pated.

Denise Shovlin, the Youth Pre­ven­tion Coun­cil ad­viser at West, ex­plained that the flow­ers will bloom in April dur­ing Al­co­hol Aware­ness Month.

“It’s im­por­tant for me to help the stu­dents make

good de­ci­sions and to make the school beau­ti­ful dur­ing this im­por­tant pro­gram,” Shovlin said.

The Youth Pre­ven­tion Coun­cils and other Down­ing­town Area School Dis­trict stu­dents at the three high schools planted more than 400 tulip bulbs. The coun­cils pri­mary goal is to im­pact the at­ti­tudes and be­hav­iors of their peers rel­e­vant to drug and al­co­hol use.

Down­ing­town West High School se­nior Max Min­nier com­pleted train­ing last year and a group of stu­dents be­gan the club at West while help­ing Down­ing­town STEM Academy stu­dents to build their pro­gram. He said the club helps them con­nect the com­mu­nity to what the high school stu­dents are do­ing and spread aware­ness about drug and al­co­hol pre­ven­tion. He said he be­lieves it is im­por­tant to teach peo­ple about dis­tracted driv­ing and the con­se­quences of drink­ing and driv­ing, as well as the con­se­quences of drug use. Visit Daily Lo­cal News staff writer Gin­ger Rae Dun­bar’s blog about jour­nal­ism and vol­un­teer­ing as a fire­fighter at Fire­fight­erGinger.

PHOTO BY GIN­GER RAE DUN­BAR - DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Down­ing­town stu­dents and fac­ulty mem­bers par­tic­i­pated in “plant the prom­ise,” a na­tional ini­tia­tive, also known as the Red Rib­bon Cam­paign. Plant­ing red tulips to bloom in the spring dur­ing Na­tional Al­co­hol Aware­ness Month is a re­minder to peo­ple about the im­por­tance of lead­ing a drug free life.

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