CLARKSVILLE — Fifth-grade students from Clinton-Massie Elementary School celebrated their D.A.R.E. graduation Friday, Jan. 21 and joined millions of other young people from across the nation who have benefited from the D.A.R.E. program.
Based on research and science, with the goal of teaching young people skills to lead safe, responsible, and drug-free lives, D.A.R.E. teaches students the importance of communication and guidance regarding situations they face in their daily lives or may face in the future. The D.A.R.E. curriculum promotes the development of safe and responsible citizens who lead successful, drug free lives by teaching children the skills necessary accomplish these goals.
Clinton-Massie Local Schools’ Resource Officer Danny Woods met regularly with students over a ten-week period sharing with students the importance of making good decisions and how to use the D.A.R.E. Decision Making Model.
The D.A.R.E. Decision Making Steps call upon students to: “DEFINE—Describe the problem, challenge, or opportunity. ACCESS—What are your choices. RESPOND—Make a choice. Use the facts and information you have gathered. EVALUATE— Review your decision. Did you make a good choice?”
As students neared the completion of the D.A.R.E. program, Office Woods challenged them to share what they’d learned and how they would implement their new skills and knowledge by writing an official D.A.R.E essay.
Student essays were then exchanged and read by an impartial D.A.R.E. officer from a neighboring school district, who then forwarded the essays to Clinton County Sheriff Ralph Fizer Jr. — a great advocate of the D.A.R.E. program — who selected the top four (two girls and two boys) essay winners. First-place essays were read aloud during the graduation ceremony.
First-place essay winners Lauren Humphries and Titus Bawidamann each received a bicycle and bicycle helmet. Second-place essay winners Olivia Roark and Jacob Ryan each received a $50 gift card.
To honor their D.A.R.E. commitment and graduation, students also received D.A.R.E. t-shirts and Officer Woods presented each student with a graduation certificate, and a random drawing of names found several students the recipients of a basketball, soccer ball, or dodgeball or their choice.
The D.A.R.E. graduation prizes were made possible in part due to the generous donations of the Clinton County Antique Power Club, Clinton-Massie P.T.O., Melissa Wissman, and Walmart.
Information for this article was provided by Diana Miller, who coordinates communications for several area schools.