Westmont Hilltop School District
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Westmont Hilltop Elementary School

Educating, empowering, inspiring, and nurturing

the whole child!

675 Goucher Street

Johnstown, PA 15905
Phone: (814) 255-8707
Fax: (814) 255-8793

All activities are cancelled at the school tonight, January 7.

WHSD will be operating on a two-hour delay tomorrow, January 8.

Message from the Principal

Dear WH Families,

As you know, the students in our school have been celebrating Red Ribbon Week this week.We have various “spirit" days to help students to get excited about the message that Red Ribbon Week is supposed to send.After thinking about this a little, I wondered if all of the families actually know the background of Red Ribbon Week?I wanted to share some information with all of you so that you can understand what Red Ribbon Week is and how it came to be celebrated in schools.

In the 1980s, there was a special agent who worked for the Drug Enforcement Administration named “Kiki" Camarena.Kiki spent his adult life trying to fight the war against drugs.He was assigned to help bring down one of the largest drug cartels.This group trafficked drugs around the world.Kiki was very brave in his fight to keep drugs off of the street.Unfortunately, during an undercover operation, things didn't go well and Kiki was killed.He left behind a wife and three young children.

Kiki's high school friend started a club in Kiki's home state of California that was set up to encourage everyone to live a drug-free life. A local high school teacher started wearing a red ribbon as a remembrance of Kiki's sacrifice and as a pledge to live drug-free.The trend caught on and other clubs were started throughout California and other states.The members decided to wear red ribbons during the last week of October every year to celebrate Kiki and his efforts.Thus, the start of Red Ribbon Week.The National Family Partnership (NFP) now sponsors this special week and the NFP encourages teachers, parents and family members to talk with their children on a regular basis about the dangers of illegal drugs.

Our school celebrates Red Ribbon Week by decorating our hallways (a special “thank you" to the PTO for decking our halls!!), and by giving red ribbons to our students.We also read a message to the students each morning during this week, and encourage students to get into the spirit of the week by teaming together for special “spirit days" to show that we are all in the fight against drugs together.

I hope that this little “history of Red Ribbon Week" will help your family to understand what we are celebrating this week and why the children are encouraged to participate in the “spirit days." If you have any suggestions for different “spirit day" ideas for next year, I'd love to hear them!

Nicole Kuzmiak
WHES Principal

Westmont Hilltop School District    827 Diamond Boulevard     Johnstown, Pennsylvania 15905    Phone 814.255.6751

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