DARE to host Graduation April 19

From staff reports

All the 5th grade classrooms in the county that participated in the
Drug and Alcohol Resistance Education (DARE) program will be honored
at a graduation ceremony on April 19 at 9 a.m. at Louisville
Elementary School.

The Drug and Alcohol Resistance Education (DARE) program is an 11-
week course that is taught in the 5th grade classrooms for Noxapater,
Nanih Waiya, Louisville and Winston Academy.

To complete the DARE class and receive the certificate of completion,
each student must write an essay about what they have learned about
the harmful effects of drugs and alcohol along with how the program
taught them to make better decisions in life. Along with certificates
the top essay writers will also earn awards.

The Louisville Police Department provides the DARE officer to all the
schools headed up by DARE officer Tonya McWhirter.

Officials have noted in the past that the officer in uniform in the
classroom is priceless for both the students and the community.

In the program, Officer McWhirter taught the students about substance
abuse, with drugs such as cigarettes, alcohol, prescription drugs,
and marijuana. She also teaches the students how to deal with peer
pressure and how to cope with stress, without turning to a substance
that alters the way one feels, thinks or acts.

The graduation also usually features Daren,” a stuffed lion that acts
as the D.A.R.E. Program’s mascot.

D.A.R.E. is a worldwide organization that focuses on life skills for
the youth around the world. The program was founded in 1983, at Los
Angeles, Calif.