Elementary students graduate from DARE | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Elementary students graduate from DARE

Staff reports

Submitted to the Tribune

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – Fifth graders at Zephyr Cove Elementary School learned about the effects of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco in a 10-week drug abuse resistance education program.

“They learn about becoming empowered to handle bullying and peer pressure,” said Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Teresa Duffy. “We teach them to surround themselves with good friends so that they will be more likely to make good decisions and have happy and healthy lives.”

DARE is a cooperative effort between DCSO, local schools, students and parents. It offers an educational program in fifth grade to prevent or reduce drug abuse and violence among youth.

Duffy and her partner Deputy Chris Griffith help the students develop social competence, communication skills, self-esteem, empathy, decision-making, conflict resolution, sense of purpose and independence, and positive alternatives to drugs and violence, Duffy said.

After the students complete the 10-week program they write an essay about what they have learned and what they will take away from the program. They read the essays in front of their peers and their peers vote for the best essay. The essay winners get to read their essays at the DARE graduation and they receive a DARE medal. Each student is provided with a DARE book that has all their DARE lessons and a DARE t-shirt upon graduation.

“They learn that they are ultimately in control of their destinies, regardless of their family dynamics,” Duffy said.