On October 26th, CUSD hosts Red Ribbon Week parade in Old Town Clovis.
The educational week of October 24th-28th this year was reserved for the national and annual spectacle known as Red Ribbon Week.
Red Ribbon Week is the week each year in which schools take part in an alcohol, tobacco, and other drug and violence prevention awareness campaign.
According to the Red Ribbon Week website, this year’s Red Ribbon Week theme was “Celebrate Life. Live Drug Free.” According to the site, the theme is a reminder that everyday “Americans across the country make significant daily contributions to their communities by being the best they can be because they live Drug Free.”
At CUSD, certain events were explained at last week’s board meeting that would have an impact in celebrating the week.
On Monday, a helicopter landed at the playground of Woods Elementary during a ceremony held for the students of the school. The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office then delivered Woods’ elementary school mascot to the school in efforts to “kick off” Red Ribbon Week.
“Every single one of our elementary schools is doing a lot to celebrate and recognize Red Ribbon Week,” according to Janet Samuelian, Administrator of Curriculum and Instruction with CUSD. She then recognized that guest speakers including Mr. Guido from Guido’s Martial Arts Academy and Mr. Peace, a National Youth Motivational and Bullying Speaker would be speaking at schools during the week.
Samuelian then mentioned the fact that CUSD had a “rich history” in celebrating Red Ribbon Week with a parade that takes place in Old Town Clovis.
For the first year since 2019, Weldon Elementary would once again host the parade that would take the school as well as the Clovis High marching band, Sierra Vista Elementary and Clark Intermediate, down Pollasky avenue, displaying not only the marching bands but also representatives from each school and each class of Weldon.
“Doc” Buchanan served as Grand Marshall for many years in the Weldon Parade as he was historicized yet again as the individual responsible for introducing Red Ribbon Week to CUSD.
Current Superintendent Dr. Eimear O’Brien and Board Member Betsy Sandoval have also acted as Grand Marshall for the parade in years past, but this year it was Clovis Police Chief Curt Fleming who was given the honor.
“We engage a lot of other community members in this parade celebrating Red Ribbon Week,” explained Samuelian, “It fosters a sense of community all around Weldon, Sierra Vista also takes part, it’s a grand celebration.”
The parade itself, on the brisk Wednesday morning, took students in a circle beginning on Second street just in front of Weldon and down Pollasky avenue. Diverging onto Fifth Street, they turned the final corner back onto Dewitt avenue and back to their classes.
Other students lined the street of Pollasky watching and cheering their fellow classmates along, as well as parents who stopped by for the short ceremony in support.
Each class seemed to be having a joyous time as few even yelled out chants as they marched down the street including the year’s theme, “Celebrate Life. Live Drug Free.”
Kelly Avants, Chief Communications Officer for CUSD, at last week’s board meeting stated that CUSD would also focus on communicating to the parent community and engage them in “participating in conversations at home as well”.
Messaging for parents and students were sent out via social media and email including dangers and risks of drug use. A website campaign also took on the same messaging on CUSD’s website.