The graduation at Bluffton School for the Grade 6 students who completed the D.A.R.E. program was punctuated with lots of laughter and well wishes and concluded with cake and juice.
The event was, no doubt, fun for the students, but the program itself could have a far-reaching impact and its message serves as a reminder to just say ‘no’ to drugs and alcohol.
Bryce, one of the students who read his essay during the graduation, said he has learned there are options available when confronted with difficult choices.
“You can walk away, remember there is strength in numbers, say no while giving an excuse or change the subject.”
“I think D.A.R.E. is a great program and has made me a stronger and more responsible person,” another student commented.
“Drugs and alcohol change the way you act and people won’t want to be around you,” added another student.
“Smoking harms your health, your lungs, your arteries and is very expensive and addictive.”
People who bully others have usually been bullied themselves. Our choices always have consequences.
D.A.R.E. taught us a variety of things that will help us in the future.”
Const. Larissa Shadforth taught the D.A.R.E. program in Bluffton, Rimbey Elementary and Rimbey Christian Schools.
“It went really well,” said Sgt. Mark Groves from Rimbey RCMP. “It was very well received. We had a very positive response.”
D.A.R.E. is a prevention education program jointly sponsored by the community, schools and the police that help youngsters gain coping tools to deal with alcohol and drugs and other peer pressures .
The program was developed in 1983 in Los Angeles, California as a cooperative effort between the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles Unified School District. Since its inception, the D.A.R.E. Program, which is reviewed and updated on a regular basis, has expanded to over 50 countries around the world, including Canada
D.A.R.E. educates children at the Grade 5/6 level to help prepare them for entry into junior high and high school, where they are most likely to encounter pressure to use drugs and negative choices.
The elementary school curriculum provides students with the skills they need to make better choices when in difficult situations and gives them tools to deal make positive decisions and helps them deal with bullying, peer pressure and stress and learn how to communicate effectively.