Kindergarteners dressed in red proudly marched down the sidewalk at South Miami K- 8 Center on Tuesday, May 25th, to join in celebrating the school’s most recent accolade: Red Ribbon Certification. South Miami K-8 Center is one of only four schools in Miami-Dade County selected for this distinguished honor. Red Ribbon Certified Schools, a program of Informed Families and the National Family Partnership, recognizes schools that improve academic performance by keeping kids drug and alcohol free, and engaging parents and the community.
“The Red Ribbon Certified Schools program provides a wonderful opportunity to honor schools that utilize the Red Ribbon Campaign and other effective prevention strategies year round to help kids grow up safe, healthy and drug-free,” said Peggy Sapp, President & CEO of Informed Families. “South Miami K-8 Center does just that – and involves the entire community of students, parents, administrators and South Miami citizens in the process. That is prevention at its best.”
During the recognition ceremony on May 25, School Board member Augustin Barrera and Vice Mayor Valerie Newman of South Miami congratulated the students, parents, faculty and administrators for their achievements. Vice Mayor Newman went on to suggest that all South Miami area schools should work toward Red Ribbon Certification. Other participants at the event included Peggy Sapp, President & CEO of Informed Families, Simone Brown Knight, Statewide Director of Red Ribbon Certified Schools, Margaret Sotham, Director of Informed Families’ South Miami Drug-Free Coalition and PTSA President Marilyn Correa-Gonzalez. The event concluded with South Miami K-8 Principal Anamarie G. Moreiras raising the Red Ribbon Certified Schools flag while reminding participating students about the importance of staying drug and alcohol free.
To be considered for Red Ribbon Certification, schools must utilize substance abuse prevention-related curriculum guided by best practices, work with parents as partners and engage in year-round Red Ribbon events. Schools selected for certification remain certified for a three-year period. The program was originally developed by Informed Families, The National Family Partnership and the Florida Center for Prevention Research at Florida State University and funded by the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) of the US Department of Health & Human Services.