Marching for Red Ribbon week |

Marching for Red Ribbon week

Emma Garrard/Sierra Sun

Alder Creek Middle School students dressed in red and marched through Truckee streets to kick off Red Ribbon Week Monday.

Guidance counselor Rachel Falk said the program, which featured a different theme for each day of the week, is meant to bring attention to a drug problem at high schools.

“We’re trying to give kids the tools they need to make a good decision when they do run into drugs someday,” Falk said.

Some of those tools included a drug-free pledge Falk said was available to each student at lunchtime this week. Students were encouraged to sign the pledges and remain drug-free.

Red Ribbon week culminates with a dance from 6 to 9 p.m. at Alder Creek Friday night. The dance comes, fittingly, on Dress Like a Rock Star Day, where students will celebrate to a drug-free beat all day and night.

Tuesday’s theme was Put a Cap on Drugs, when students were allowed to wear hats, Wednesday was Join the Fight against Drugs and students were encouraged to wear camouflage and today’s theme is Put Drugs to Sleep, when students can wear pajamas and slippers to class.

The event comes two weeks after former Truckee Tahoe school district student Jesse Hernandez died from a drug overdose in Sacramento.

Students at Sierra High School in Truckee created shirts in honor of their fallen friend, which read “Drugs killed our friend” on the front and “In loving memory of Jesse Hernandez” on the back.

“It gives our friends a lesson about doing drugs at a young age,” Dolores Estrada, a Sierra High student and one of Hernandez’ close friends said. “Everyone liked Jesse a lot. He was an outgoing person and very down to earth.”

Falk said she’d like to expand the anti-drug programs at Alder Creek to the area high schools.

“People say that if you don’t get to the kids early, then high school is way too late and they’ve already started using drugs, but I don’t think that,” Falk said.

Finally, Alder Creek students have been tasked with creating anti-drug bumper stickers this week. Students must form an anti-drug slogan on a 3×11-inch design and turn it in by the end of the school day Friday, Oct. 31.

Falk said the first place winner will receive 50 professionally-made bumper stickers to distribute to friends and family, along with a $100 savings bond.

Second place is awarded a $75 savings bond and a drug-free baseball hat, while third place is awarded the hat and a $50 bond.

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