On Tuesday, June 6, Liberty Middle School fifth-graders were recognized as official Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) graduates.
School officials were particularly proud of the enormous amount of information that its students learned from instructor and School Resource Officer Devin Brust who also served as the Keynote Speaker for the occasion.
“We do more than just talk about not doing drugs,” Brust said. “We talk about self-esteem, and we encourage and motivate them. We want them to make good decisions and choices.”
Officer Brust rendered an especially encouraging message as evidenced from the rounds of applause from parents, community members, teachers, and students. His address was applicable to everyone in the audience.
Brust, who is described by staff as friendly, optimistic, respected and dedicated, is a central park of the Liberty’s D.A.R.E Program. He focused on the obstacles that the fifth graders may face.
As part of graduation, all students were required to submit an essay detailing their experiences and what they’ve learned as a result of their D.A.R.E education. Fifth-grader Alessia Lentini was chosen to read her essay aloud at the ceremony.
She expressed in her essay why she wanted to be drug and violence free, choose the right friends, and make the right choices in the future with the skills she learned in D.A.R.E.
She also received a D.A.R.E. mascot stuffed animal in appreciation for her hard work and commitment to the D.A.R.E. Program.
D.A.R.E is a comprehensive school-based drug prevention program taught by police officers to children at the Grade 5 level. The D.A.R.E. Officers partner with classroom teachers to build protective factors for children by providing information and social skills needed to live drug- and violence-free. Students are taught to use a four-step D.A.R.E decision-making model designed to help them engage in critical thinking, empowering them to make healthy choices and take charge of their lives. It provides them the skills to analyze each decision and evaluate their choices.
The program is delivered over a 10-week period, and each lesson is presented in a fun and factual way, designed to maximize student participation using an interactive workbook.
For more questions about the D.A.R.E Program, visit dare.org