Students at Centerville, Berwick, Glenco Charter, J.S. Aucoin, and Raintree elementary schools celebrated their D.A.R.E. graduations this past Fall and this Spring. The fifth graders successfully completed the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program in the course of a semester. The 10 week long D.A.R.E. program teaches students decision making skills that equip them to lead safe and healthy lives. Lessons include the dangers of drug abuse, how to resist and refuse peer pressure, and how to take a stand against bullying. The program is designed to boost students’ social skills and enhance self esteem which is a key factor in contending with these issues. As a graduation requirement, the 5th graders are asked to write an essay describing what they have learned from the D.A.R.E. program. The essays are often narratives of personal experiences of bullying or peer pressure and explain how the students will use or have used the D.A.R.E. Decision Making Model (DDMM) to overcome those challenges. Guest speakers at each of the graduations encouraged students to continue to use the skills they learned in D.A.R.E.
Guest Speaker Sheriff Mark Hebert, St. Mary Parish
Guest Speaker Deputy Walter Shepherd, St. Mary Parish
Guest Speaker Judge Kim Stansbury, City Court of Morgan City
Guest Speaker Lt Alexander Barnes, St. Mary Parish
Guest Speaker Jacki Ackel, Safe Schools Advocate & Berwick Councilmember
Guest Speaker District Judge Lewis Pitman
The St. Mary Parish Sheriff's Office manages the program in 5 schools across the parish for approximately 500 students each school year. Funding for the DARE program is provided in part through grants and the Louisiana Sheriff’s Association Honorary Membership Program.