Red Ribbon Week observed with parade

While ticker tape was in short supply, red ribbons were prevalent at a parade earlier this week at the Batavia Elementary School.

To celebrate Red Ribbon Week, students at Batavia Middle School prepared a parade that was held for the elementary students to get the point across: say no to drugs.

“Red Ribbon Week is actually a national program,” said Batavia Middle School Principal Karyn Strong. “It’s a drug initiative, and is celebrated the same week in October throughout the country by every elementary, middle and high school. It’s a time for teachers and kids to come together and say no to drugs, basically.”

Typically, students participate in some classroom exercises involving drug facts, or maybe go to an assembly or hear from a guest speaker.

This year, however, the idea came up that maybe something completely different was in order. In an act of civic duty, the classes each worked together to create a number of floats and displays based off of the anti-drug theme to compose a parade.

“The parade was a red wagon parade,” said Strong. “All of our teachers and their students came up with a float that put out the message of saying no to drugs. But they took it beyond that, two kids were in trash cans that said ‘can drugs.’ We really wanted to bring the message down to the kids in the elementary school.”

Pulling the red wagons, some containing anti-drug slogans and some containing students displaying anti-drug slogans, students waved banners, passed out prizes, made lots of noise and otherwise thrilled the crowd of students from Batavia Elementary, who lined both sides of the street in front of the elementary school to catch a glimpse of the festivities.

Between 20 and 30 floats were present, one from each of the classes at the middle school, as well as some more creative material. The middle school band also made an appearance, playing in the elementary school’s front lawn throughout the parade.

“We’re really working on building a sense of community in our building, and we’ve also been working on building relationships with the high school and elementary school,” said Strong. “The kids have been working on this for a couple of weeks. We have a fabulous building and great kids.”