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Julien Elementary earns recognition for Red Ribbon Week efforts
Ideas wanted for 2015 anti-drug slogan
Julien red ribbon week pic
Music teacher Dan Ijams and the entire student body of Julien Elementary School gather for their Red Ribbon Week assembly, where they performed "Drug Free," a parody to the tune of Pharrell's "Happy" with anti-drug lyrics, written by Red Ribbon Chair and local pediatrician Dr. Sunita Saini. - photo by Photo Contributed

With the conclusion of a successful 29th Annual National Red Ribbon Week, the Stanislaus County Office of Education announced that Turlock's Julien Elementary School earned first place in the elementary school division for their 2014 Best Decorated-Most Spirited Schools contest.

The award will be made official on Dec. 9, when students from Julien will go to SCOE to receive a plaque for truly embodying this year’s theme: “Love Yourself. Be Drug Free.”   

“It is very important for these kids to receive official recognition from SCOE,” said Julien's Red Ribbon Week chairperson Dr. Sunita Saini. “Our focus wasn’t to win the competition, but to go above and beyond so they remember all the activities and things we taught them when they are presented with drugs.”

During Red Ribbon Week, which took place from Oct. 27 through Oct. 31, Julien went all out to promote anti-drug messages to students. In addition to decorating the school to the fullest capacity, students wrote poetry, essays, and conducted presentations in their classes.

At their Red Ribbon Week assembly, Olympic medalist Ali Cox spoke at the school, along with Saini, who is an area pediatrician. Students also took the time and commitment to perform a song to the melody of Pharell’s song “Happy.”

Julien’s Red Ribbon Week activities were not just limited to the campus, however. Students approached Turlock Mayor John Lazar at a Turlock City Council meeting and asked him to pledge to be drug free with them. Congressman Jeff Denham also awarded the school a letter of commendation. 

Julien was not the only school from Turlock Unified School District to earn recognition from SCOE, as Turlock Junior High School won second place in the competition’s middle school division.

Although the anti-drug messages from this year’s Red Ribbon Week are still fresh in the minds of students, the National Family Partnership is already brainstorming themes for the 30th Annual National Red Ribbon Week.

The winning slogan, which will be announced on Feb. 2, will be used throughout 2015 in thousands of schools across America to promote Red Ribbon Week. Additionally, the contest winner will receive $500 worth of Red Ribbon merchandise for their K-12 school.

NFP encourages those interested to use positive messages that are relevant and appropriate for students at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. The slogan will be used on banners, large marquees, fences of schools throughout the country.

Those interested in contributing a theme idea are encouraged to email before Dec. 2. For more information, visit