SeDoMoCha fifth-graders graduate from D.A.R.E.
DOVER-FOXCROFT — Following more than two months of learning about how to resist drugs and alcohol, make good decisions and more, SeDoMoCha Middle School fifth-graders celebrated completion of the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program with a graduation ceremony on the morning of Tuesday, June 11 in the school cafeteria.
“I have been fortunate, this is my 23rd year of teaching this program and I look forward to it,” said D.A.R.E. officer Lt. Jamie Kane of the Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Office. “The reason I teach this program is I believe in this program and I enjoy being with the kids.”
Kane told the students and family members present for the graduation that the pupils do not just learn about the effects of drugs and alcohol and how to resist these substances, but they are taught how to make good choices, dealing with peer pressure, consequences of actions, coping with bullying and how to get themselves out of bad situations.
Students were each presented with a D.A.R.E. T-shirt and certificate from their teachers and Kane. As part of the program everyone wrote an essay on what the program means to them and four winners were selected to read their writing aloud — receiving a D.A.R.E. medallion from Kane after they put the microphone down.
“Drugs are bad for the body, and in my opinion people should not do drugs at all,” Malcolm Allen said, saying that smoking can cause yellow teeth and bad breath among other harmful side effects.
He said by abstaining from these harmful substances “people will live longer and have a happy life” so they should “shy away from drugs and live life to the fullest.”
“I learned that I have to make smart decisions on alcohol and drugs such as marijuana,” Sylas Lockwood said. He said some methods include simply saying no or walking away.
“I hope every fifth-grader learns something from the D.AR.E. program and if not they are ignoring every word Officer Kane said,” Lockwood said.
Hayden Hanson said the D.A.R.E. acronym gives program participants a strategy for decision making — define, assess, respond and evaluation. Hanson explained methods to say no include walking away, changing the subject, making up an excuse by “saying something that is true or not true and the last way is just to avoid the subject.”
“My opinion on D.A.R.E. is every fifth-grader should take the D.A.R.E. class and the reason is in the future you will make good decisions,” Hanson said.
Natalie Cavanagh said program participants learn how to respond to questions concerning smoking and drinking. “We need more and more children doing D.A.R.E., I see more and more cigarettes everywhere and that hurts people and the environment,” she said.
Cavanagh mentioned how to avoid tough situations, such as strength in numbers and walking away. “That is the best way in my opinion,” she said. “Remember that saying no can really help.”
After the handing out of T-shirts and certificates, several students presented Kane with a large sheet of paper signed by all the fifth-graders.