CLARKSVILLE — Students from Clinton-Massie Elementary School — 145 fifth-graders — celebrated their D.A.R.E. graduation Jan. 22 and joined millions of other young people from across the nation who have benefited from the 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 10-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?”
Officer Woods also worked with students to help them understand the difference between telling and tattling so that students could be responsible and successful when confronted with difficult decisions.
As students neared the completion of the D.A.R.E. program, Officer 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 selected the top four (two girls and two boys) essays to be read aloud during the graduation ceremony.
First-place essay winners were Maddie Phipps and Keegan Lamb, who each received a bicycle and bicycle helmet.
Second-place essay winners were Brittney Shockley and Tye Phipps who each received a plush D.A.R.E. mascot known as Daren the Lion.
To honor their D.A.R.E. commitment and graduation, students also received a D.A.R.E. t-shirt and Officer Woods presented each student with a graduation certificate.
Information for this article was provided by Diana Miller, who coordinates communications for several area schools.