Pre-pandemic most any teen or tween would have thought hours of unscheduled downtime sounded like a dream. Once the reality of less school, fewer activities and more mask wearing set in, however, it quickly became clear that young people were not thriving. Red Ribbon Project, like many area nonprofits, pivoted and set about creating inclusive learning environments to help keep students engaged, active and feeling like part of a community.
“It was hard watching teens, who already may struggle to find a place where th
ey are comfortable and accepted, feel so isolated and struggle,” shares Denise Kipp, executive director of Red Ribbon Project. “We quickly adapted our programs to continue to engage students and provide a continuum of learning, much of which starts in fifth grade.”
These programs—Life Skills, Cuidate, sexual health—are key for young people to thrive, but are not provided by teachers. Enter Red Ribbon Project. Its educators, over the past 25 years, have developed a strong rapport with youth, being the trusted adult in many instances when they feel there is no where else to turn.
Lifelong learning takes a community: It costs $11 per student to provide quality, engaging content to 2,250 students on average. Luckily, being a supporter is more fun than ever at the annual Eagle Music Fest, taking place Saturday,August 21 at the Boneyard in Eagle.
“We’re so excited to have another amazing youth band to kick off our fundraiser—Trees Don’t Move is a dynamic band made up of local talent. Attendees will then rock out to the Johnny Schleper Band on the back lawn of the Boneyard,” Kipp says.
The fundraiser, like much of what RRP does, will be low key, inclusive yet vital. Everyone in the community is invited. A $10 donation at the door is suggested. The Boneyard will have food and drink specials and a robust silent auction with something for everyone.
“We’re so grateful to be part of the Eagle County community. It’s great seeing students really engaged and taking an active role in their education,” Kipp says.
What Does RRP Do?
- Red Ribbon Project has helped decrease teen pregnancy by 79% over the last decade.
- It meets with 2,250 students annually, meeting them at their level for open, honest conversation.
- Provides a safe space for open dialog, encouraging families to share their values with their children.
- Provides free HIV/AIDS tests annually.
If You Go:
- Saturday, August 21, 4 p.m. to close
- The Boneyard in Eagle
- Fundraiser for the small but mighty Red Ribbon Project