By Kristine Kern
Review Staff Writer
On March 5th fifth grade students, parents and grandparents gathered in the Adrian Elementary School Commons to celebrate the students graduation from the 11 week D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program. D.A.R.E. was founded in 1983 and has proven so successful that it has been implemented in thousands of schools throughout the United States and 50+ other countries. It is a police officer-led series of classroom lessons that teaches children how to resist peer pressure and live productive drug and violence-free lives.
During those 11 weeks Adrian Police Officer Ashley Kane met with the students teaching them how to make good choices and what the consequences of their decisions could be. While in D.A.R.E., the students were able to talk about issues that they are going through at home or in school and discuss if it was a positive or negative way of dealing with the situation. Officer Kane discussed the signs of stress and how it effects everyone in different ways. How to communicate effectively, the non-verbal cues are just as important as the verbal. Students were taught how to report bullying and the difference between tattling and telling. EThe facts about drugs and alcohol and finally who is in their help network.
Thursday was a celebration of the completion of this positive program. Officer Kane opened the ceremony by thanking the parents of the students for allowing her to teach their children and also to teachers Mrs. Bullerman and Mrs. Wiertzema for allowing her to use class room time for the program. Students are each asked to write an essay about what they learned from the D.A.R.E. Program and three students are picked to read their essays aloud. This year Caitlyn Veld, Charger Erlandson and Jozie Cuperas were chosen to read their essays during the ceremony.
Deputy Michael Shei and his K-9 partner Boris held a short presentation on Boris’ capabilities and answered questions from a very interested group of students and adults. Deputy Ryan Kruger assisted in the demonstration playing the suspect for Boris.
Each student received a certificate of completion from the D.A.R.E. Program from Officer Kane at the completion of the ceremony.
Officer Kane commented “the D.A.R.E. decision making model will help them make good decisions for the rest of their lives.”