La Mirada – Escalona Elementary School students are taking the “Say No to Drugs, Alcohol and Tobacco Pledge” as part of Red Ribbon Week activities that highlight the importance of taking care of themselves and taking care of community members in need.

Red Ribbon Week is one of the longest-running alcohol and drug prevention awareness campaigns in the nation, and is traditionally celebrated during the last full week of October.

Escalona students kicked off the week with an assembly led by La Mirada public safety officials; the PTA coordinated a variety of opportunities for students and families to make donations to local charities and show their concerns for others.

“Our PTA wanted to add a dimension to Red Ribbon Week by making it about Escalona Eagles giving back to the community,” Principal Bonnie Lytle said.

On Monday, Escalona parents participated in a blood drive to benefit a local nonprofit healthcare provider. On Tuesday, students sporting red, white and blue outfits wrote letters of appreciation to men and women on active duty in the military.

Wednesday was “Crazy Hair Day,” and six students and one teacher are donating long locks of hair to an organization that provides free natural hair wigs to children undergoing chemotherapy. Thursday was all about “Crazy Socks Day,” with sock donations benefiting a local homeless shelter.

Fifth-grader Malina Peters sat smiling while Escalona parent and hairdresser Lindsay Daignault snipped off more than 12 inches of her hair to be donated to Wigs for Kids.
“I thought of how happy someone would be if their cancer made them lose their hair and then they got a wig,” Malina said. “It makes me happy and a little proud. I’m glad to help others.”

Superintendent Dr. Hasmik Danielian applauded Escalona’s creative approach to celebrating Red Ribbon Week.

“This year’s Red Ribbon Week theme is all about self-respect by pledging to say ‘no’ to self-destructive behavior,” Danielian said. “We believe in teaching students that showing self-respect can also mean showing compassion for others.”

NLMUSD School Board President Jesse Urquidi agreed.

“Hats off to Escalona students and families for the great example they are setting for all of us!” he said.

Photo Caption

Escalona parent and hairdresser Lindsay Daignault displays more than 12 inches of hair that fifth-grader Malina Peters is donating to Wigs for Kids.