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Educating Kids for a Lifetime of Safety

This article first appeared in the 2022 Annual Update.

Red Ribbon Staff Youth Advisors

Healthy Lifestyles Start with Early Education

Thanks to philanthropy, Eagle County students are participating in evidence-based educational programs encouraging healthy behavior. Based on age and grade level, students attend presentations on sun safety to prevent skin cancer, vaping and tobacco prevention, and sexual health education that includes information on HPV (Human Papillomavirus) vaccines.

Preschoolers and kindergartenersEarly Sun Safety Education Helps Prevent Skin Cancer

Preschoolers and kindergarteners are benefiting from sun safety education designed to help decrease the risk of skin cancer. Building healthy sun safety habits early in childhood makes it easier for kids to continue practicing this behavior into adulthood. Parents gain sun safety tips through the program and are encouraged to lead by example. Sunburns and sun damage over time can increase the risk of skin cancer, and one or more sunburns in childhood could double a person’s lifetime melanoma risk.

Educating Students on Tobacco Use and Vaping

Elementary through high school students are learning about the harmful effects of tobacco and vaping through the Red Ribbon Project’s evidence-based program designed to help them resist peer pressure. The curriculum teaches students that vaping exposes users to 100 times the amount of toxin-laden smoke compared to cigarettes, challenges the belief that e-cigarettes are risk-free, and outlines the health risks of the highly addictive chemicals found in e-cigarettes.

High School Students Receive Sexual Health Education

An evidence-based teenage pregnancy and disease prevention program teaches students strategies to reduce high-risk sexual behavior and the importance of the HPV vaccine. The goal is to increase teen awareness and prevent cancers caused by the HPV virus. The six-to-seven-hour in-person session provides an essential understanding of sexually transmitted infections and HPV prevention and education. Over an 11-year period, the Red Ribbon Project’s program has helped reduce teen births in Eagle County by 82 percent.


Preschoolers and kindergartners received tips to be safe in the sun


5th graders participated in the vaping prevention program


9th graders participated in the high school sexual health program

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