D.A.R.E. graduation cause for celebration
On May 8, 9 and 10 a total of 375 fifth-grade students graduated from the D.A.R.E. program. The students came from Tahoe Valley, Bijou, Al Tahoe and St. Theresa elementary schools. Several guests speakers, a mounted horse patrol and a police canine joined in the celebration. Each graduate received a D.A.R.E. T-shirt and a variety of other D.A.R.E. items.
Each of the graduates have undergone a 20-week program that covered a variety of lessons. Each student has been instructed on the dangers of a variety of drugs and alcohol and has worked on developing his or her skills on ways to say “no” when confronted with offers of drugs or invitations to join gangs. The students worked on becoming assertive and understanding that they do have the right to say no when someone asks them to do anything that is illegal or dangerous. The students learned to identify what risks are and how to weigh out the consequences. They also learned that they have a responsibility to tell when they hear about or see school violence.
The students did exercises that help build their self-esteem and worked on ways to help them feel better about themselves. A lot of time was devoted to learning how to make good decisions and how to develop healthy friendships.
During the year students spent time working out of their D.A.R.E. workbooks and completing homework assignments. To graduate from the program each student must have attended the D.A.R.E. classes, finished every homework assignment and turned in a completed cover for the D.A.R.E. workbook. Each student also completed an essay on why they think it is important to be drug- and violence-free.
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After a period of dry, warm weather, winter returns this week to Lake Tahoe.