Red Ribbon Week: It Takes a Village

It’s Red Ribbon Week, which means conversations about keeping kids alcohol- and substance-free are happening in classrooms around the country. It takes a village to keep kids saying “NO” to harmful risky behaviors like underage drinking and underage cannabis use, and each of us plays an important role.

Prevention education is a collective effort during Red Ribbon Week and beyond. Continued conversations with parents, educators, and counselors help kids say “YES” to a healthy lifestyle and “NO” to underage drinking.

Consistent messaging and frequent conversations matter. And they work! Underage drinking levels are at historically low levels! That means together, we are doing a great job—and we need to keep up the good work!

Here are some things we can all keep doing to remind kids they have the power to say “NO” to underage drinking.

Families and Caregivers

Keep talking! Even though it may seem like our kids aren’t listening when we talk, parents continue to be the #1 influence on kids’ decisions to drink—or not to drink—alcohol. Talking with kids about the negative effects alcohol can have on their developing brains has a big impact. As the number of conversations about alcohol goes up, underage drinking rates go down. If you’re not sure how to start talking about alcohol in your home, our conversation infographic can help.


Maintain a healthy classroom environment. You’re dedicated to creating a workspace that’s collaborative, encouraging, and geared towards student success, so Red Ribbon Week is a time to continue emphasizing these healthy living foundations. Talk about positive peer influence and use our free lesson plans and videos for fun and impactful learning during this week’s lessons. In addition, you will find social and emotional learning foundations woven into these science-based lessons.

School Principals, Counselors, and Nurses

Share trusted resources to help others lead the conversation at home or school. Parents and colleagues can be hesitant to talk about underage drinking if they’re not confident in communicating the facts. During Red Ribbon Week, share classroom resources with fellow teachers. Send an email to parents and caregivers sharing how alcohol affects developing brains so they feel confident continuing the conversation about underage drinking and underage cannabis use at home.
Thank you for being part of our village during Red Ribbon Week! Your continued efforts have a big impact. We can’t thank you enough for all that you’re doing to help kids learn the importance of staying substance-free and saying “NO” to risky behaviors like underage drinking and underage cannabis use.