Tricia Nelson is the winner of the National Red Ribbon Week Theme Contest.

NEWS RELEASE – Sheila Vilvens, Communications Coordinator

NEW RICHMOND EXEMPTED VILLAGE SCHOOL DISTRICT – Locust Corner Elementary School physical education teacher Tricia Nelson is the winner of the National Red Ribbon Week Theme Contest.

A banner displaying Locust Corner Elementary School gym teacher Tricia Nelson’s winning theme. (Provided)

Her winning entry, “Be Happy. Be Brave. Be Drug Free,” will appear on promotional items, including posters, related to the 2020 National Red Ribbon Week campaign.

The theme, selected from hundreds of submissions, will help amplify the campaign’s mission of encouraging children, families, and communities to live healthy, drug-free lives, according to a statement from the Red Ribbon Campaign. 

As a teacher in the New Richmond Exempted Village School District, Ms. Nelson said she aims to instill hope and strength in her students each and every day.

“I often tell my students that they are brave and strong, especially if they are having a hard time with a new activity,” she said. “I really would like the theme to inspire others for use as their mantra. Bravery is not just for superheroes,” she said.

Last year, Ms. Nelson’s students participated in a dress-up day called “Sock it to Drugs.” Students also discussed making healthy choices and talked about their future hopes and dreams.

“I love how the campaign starts a difficult conversation between students and teachers. I hope that when faced with tough decisions, students look back, remember Red Ribbon Week and make healthy choices,” Ms. Nelson said.

Ms Nelson is a teacher at Locust Corner School in New Richmond, OH (Provided)

Locust Corner Elementary School Principal Joe Roach isn’t surprised that Ms. Nelson crafted the winning theme. She’s an outstanding educator who is gifted in her ability to connect to individual students.  

“She builds relationships where students feel comfortable coming to her not just about growing physically, but also emotionally,” Mr. Roach said. “Since Tricia’s first-day teaching at Locust Corner, she has taken the initiative in helping to make our school be an even better place to learn.  Even though she was new to our school at the start of the year, she wanted to jump right in on the first day and lead our students as their Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) adviser.”

The National Family Partnership sponsors the Red Ribbon Theme Contest.

“We really strive to give educators and students a chance to shape the campaign in a way that is meaningful and relevant to the community each year,” NFP President Peggy B. Sapp said. “So many of our youth are fascinated by superhero culture from Superman and Wonder Woman to Captain Marvel and Spider-Man. It’s only fitting that this year we encourage them to be happy, brave and drug-free.” 

For submitting the winning theme, Ms. Nelson receives $500 in Red Ribbon Week themed merchandise.

Red Ribbon Week, the nation’s oldest and largest drug prevention program, is held annually from Oct. 23 through Oct. 31.

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