The National Family Partnership has announced the winners of the 2015 National Red Ribbon Photo Contest, and two schools are from Orange County — Brea Country Hills Elementary School in the Brea-Olinda Unified School District and Charles G. Emery Elementary School in the Buena Park School District.
The contest encouraged students to decorate their homes and schools using this year’s theme, “Respect Yourself. Be Drug Free.” The winning schools will receive $1,000 to be used toward drug prevention education.
When a flyer came home from her children’s school announcing the Red Ribbon competition, Dr. Josie Nuno-Oliva decided her family would enter the contest on behalf of the school.
“I felt it was one small thing we could do as a family to make a difference,” said Dr. Nuno-Oliva.
A photo of a large red ribbon hung from the second story balcony of their house helped Brea Country Hills Elementary School win in the home decoration category.
“We are thrilled to have won the $1,000 Red Ribbon prize,” said Brea Country Hills Elementary School Principal Trish Walsh. “I am extremely excited and proud of our school and community. It reiterated how much people care about our school and our kids.”
It was the photo of sixth-grade students from teacher Jennifer Ferrara’s class lying on the grass to spell “RESPECT” that led to a win in the school category for Emery Elementary School.
“I loved to see our students’ excitement and enthusiasm about getting involved in something so positive,” said Ferrara, a 2011 Buena Park School District Teacher of the Year. “I think it’s important to get the word out to the kids at a young age so they can understand the consequences and lifelong effects using drugs can have.”
Nuno-OIiva and Ferrara will each receive an iPad for entering the contest on behalf of their schools.
Neither school is sure how the $1,000 will be used yet, but Principal Walsh said they are looking into assemblies and materials that will help aid in the quest to empower students to make healthy choices in their lives, and Ferrara hopes to purchase something that will remind the students of their efforts and supplies for next year’s Red Ribbon Week activities.