Every year we come together as a community to show our support for our children during Red Ribbon Week.
Based on our data from the Illinois Youth Survey, we know that the majority of Lake Zurich youth make healthy choices, especially around substances. Most youth in Lake Zurich schools are alcohol and drug-free. Throughout Red Ribbon Week, take time to discuss healthy choices with your child.
Most likely children in younger grades are not temped by alcohol and other drugs; however, elementary school is still a great time to start the conversation about healthy/safe choices vs. unhealthy/unsafe choices. Some examples of healthy/safe choices could be related to nutrition, exercise, wearing a helmet when riding a bike, getting enough sleep, being inclusive with classmates rather than exclusive at recess, and of course avoiding alcohol and only using prescription drugs when prescribed to them/given by a parent.
By 3rd to 6th grade, students may become more curious about alcohol and other drugs. A common question youth often ask is why can adults drink alcohol and children can’t? The main reason is because the brain doesn’t fully develop until about 25 years old and alcohol affects the developing youth’s brain differently than an adult’s fully developed brain. Red Ribbon Week is a great time to have a conversation with your child to help set the stage for a healthy future.
In middle to high school, students receive many messages from the media, their friends, school, parents and the community related to alcohol and other drugs. Parents can sometimes feel that their child’s friends and the media are bigger influences in their child’s life. Not true– your voice matters! Substance abuse prevention research says parents are the #1 reason youth choose to be alcohol and drug-free.
This year's winner of our poster concept is Meimi Sato (8th Grade) from Lake Zurich Middle School South. Congratulations!