In an effort for a drug-free state, schools around Nebraska are celebrating Red Ribbon Week for drug, tobacco, alcohol, and violence prevention awareness.
"They need to realize at their young age that they have a lot of life left, and one slip up or one issue that they have with drugs could influence the rest of their lives," said Nebraska State Patrol Sergeant Jim Stover.
Knickrehm Elementary School in Grand Island held a drug free walk Friday afternoon. And while some may doubt the effectiveness of
Red Ribbon Week on elementary school kids, law enforcement officials say these days, kids are coming into contact with drugs at a much younger age.
"It's important because nowadays it's so prevalent in communities, and we're doing our jobs as best we can, but we're hoping the kids will be more proactive and take a stand against drugs," Stover said.
School officials said they hope the students learn lifelong lessons on saying no to drugs.
"What we really want to do is teach them the strategies of how to say no, whether it be smoking, drinking, bullying, drugs," said Knickrehm principal Tina Mason.
And the kids seem to be taking in those lessons.
"I want to be a soccer player and if you can't do that if you do too much drugs," said fifth-grader Manuel Alarcon.
Fellow fifth-grader Mercedes Palos added: "I'm not going to do drugs because they might affect your college and all that stuff."
Knickrehm and other Grand Island schools will continue to celebrate Red Ribbon Week next week.