Both Bloomsdale and Ste. Genevieve elementary schools hosted their DARE Graduation events on December 19.
Each year, fifth grade students participate in the 10-week program taught by Ste. Genevieve County Sheriff’s Office deputy Jeff McCarty and school resource officer Christy Clark.
DARE is a nationally recognized program where local law enforcement officials introduce students to the dangers of alcohol and drugs through positive interaction. Over the weeks, the students focus on about one lesson per week, covering topics such as how to make safe and responsible choices, how to respond to peer pressure using resistant strategies, how to communicate effectively [both verbally and non-verbally], how to report bullying and how to access help networks. After completing the program, the students at both schools received certificates and a pencil or window sticker.
At Bloomsdale Elementary, guest speaker Brandon Moulton spoke to the students about his previous experiences with the use of drugs and how those habits affected his life. He spoke about the consequences of his choices, and then shared how he was able to change his life by making the decision to break those habits. The students also presented a video with lyrics they created regarding what they had learned through the program.
At Ste. Genevieve Elementary, Officer Clark had the students create a poster covering one of the 10 DARE lessons. The winners of the posters were: Lesson 1, Carson Fallert, Caeley Haines, Ethan Warren; Lesson 2, Shyla Grant, Rihanna Gretzmacher, Kailyn Warren; Lesson 3, Raya Kreitler, Kierstyn Reeves, Evan Wolf; Lesson 4, Allison Boyet, Kacie Schemel, Mason Trollinger; Lesson 5, Keeley Palmer, Lexie Rayoum, Elcie Schweigert; Lesson 6, Wyatt Grein, Alex O’Brien; Lesson 7, Rocksanna Hutson, Ashton Lewis, Alexis Mills; Lesson 8, Garret Gallup, Kristen Gray, Jaden Roth; Lessons 9 and 10, Neva Clemens, Hayden Fontenot, Michael Huck.
Both programs ended with the fifth-graders singing the DARE song, and refreshments followed.
(Information in a release from the Ste. Genevieve R-II School District.)