Benefits of Drug Free Programs

Red Ribbon Week

It’s Red Ribbon Week across the country and most schools are doing their part in spreading the word of a drug-free life. National Family Partnership provides drug awareness by sponsoring the annual National Red Ribbon Campaign™. Since its beginning in 1985, the Red Ribbon has touched the lives of millions of people around the world. 


D.A.R.E Program

Another drug-free program to help educate our youth is the D.A.R.E. program. D.A.R.E. was founded in 1983 in Los Angeles and has proven so successful that it is now being implemented in 75 percent of our nation’s school districts and in more than 52 countries around the world. D.A.R.E. is a police officer-led series of classroom lessons that teaches children from kindergarten through 12th grade how to resist peer pressure and live productive drug and violence-free lives. 

Knowledge is Power

This time of year allows me to reflect on the impact these programs have had in my life both as a youth growing up in South Miami and as an educator in Title I schools. The Red Ribbon Campaign and D.A.R.E. program play critical roles in schools across the country. The goal is to expose students to the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse. For me, it was a scared straight experience that I received when participating in these programs in elementary school. I was so young and a sponge that everything told to me I took as gospel. The visual aids, stories, and consequences were enough to impact an 11-year-old 5th grader. I still vividly remember the images of the lungs and other organs that demonstrated the negative effects of drug and alcohol abuse. To this day, I can hear the voices of police officers and drug abusers explaining their fight against drugs to me. These drug-free programs gave me the knowledge that still stays with me to this day at 38 years old.


Both programs have an amazing curriculum which can be found and They have created material for all grade levels so everyone can participate and engage. Red Ribbon curriculum does a great job of creating lessons for different subject areas. They even include lessons in math which I feel always gets lost in discussing current events. Technology has allowed for these programs to be more accessible and have a wider reach. D.A.R.E. came up with D.A.R.E. Mobile which provides online 10 lessons for elementary level students.


Providing knowledge through great curriculum and resources is the key to engagement. Learners need to share their experiences and thoughts through creation. Creativity will help lead to learning and that’s what Genius Plaza is all about. We encourage you to create “Sparks” at showing off your pledge, knowledge, and/or how you will stay drug-free. If you have any questions please email us at

Jehu Somarriba

Educator looking to motivate and ignite the genius in every child through use of technology.

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