The West Hancock Middle School Student Council sponsored the 2017 Red Ribbon Week, Oct. 23-27.

Red Ribbon Week is organized by the Middle School Student Council. Members are as follows: Zella Clendenan, Remi Brown, Faith Steenblock, Sienna Weiland, Jaden Ansel, Madeline Ford, Heather Engstler, Sydney Tue, Natalie Barranca, Sydney Myer, Aiden Barber, Shae Groesbeck, Isabelle Rosin, Samantha Spellins, Corrina King, Morgan Francis, Destiny Hildebrand, Emma Faust and Sponsor, Deb Sykes.

This year, the student council had dress up days, a community service project and a speaker. The student council members made posters, which were displayed in the lunchroom and in the hallways.

The dress up days were pajamas, nerd, career, costume and red/white.

The community service project was “Sock It To Drugs”, where socks for the needy were collected for distribution by the organization, Grace Abounds. Students decorated collection boxes and advertised the project on the electronic marquee at 1st State Bank in Britt. A total of 98 pairs of socks were donated.

Preventionist Courtney Cockrum from Prairie Ridge Integrated Behavioral Healthcare presented two programs. For the fifth and sixth graders, her message was about what addiction looks like.

She had students identify their values and write them on balloons. Six students had to try to keep the balloons in the air without letting them touch the ground. She then had three students juggle all six balloons. Then she added a red balloon, and told students the red balloon was their top priority. Predictably, the six plain balloons were allowed to fall. The red balloon represented addiction, and how values are allowed to slip when people are addicted.

For the seventh and eighth graders, Courtney's message was about the opioid epidemic. She timed students as they stood in a circle, said their own names and the name of the student to the left as they passed a rubber chicken. This went quickly. Then students were asked to reorganize the circle randomly. This time, they had to pass the rubber chicken to the same student who previously stood to the left. Since the students had rearranged, it took much longer. This activity demonstrated how opioids make our thought processes more confused.