By: Lt. Troy Murray (DARE Officer)
On November 14, 2018, after successfully completing the requirements of the DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program, fifteen fifth grade students from Riverdale Academy received their graduation certificates.
After students opened the ceremony with prayer and the pledge of allegiance, those in attendance learned a brief history of the DARE program, watched the students perform skits and heard the reading of the winning DARE report. Sheriff Glen Edwards also spoke briefly and reinforced the importance of making good decisions.
Students recognized for exceptional DARE reports were Hanna Catherine Huddleston (1st place), Charity Williamson (2nd place), and Mary Claire Jones (3rd place). Following the ceremony, a reception was held in the lunchroom for the graduates and their guests.
While there is no way to truly measure the impact of the DARE program, there should be no question that it equips our children with tools that can be helpful throughout their lifetimes. In addition to educating students on the dangers associated with drugs and alcohol, the DARE program covers much more. This includes responsible decision making, resistance strategies, peer pressure, stress, effective communication, bullying, and establishing a help network.
Sheriff Glen Edwards would like to extend his appreciation to the Riverdale Academy school board and administration for allowing the Red River Parish Sheriff’s Office the opportunity to present the program. Thanks also go to fifth grade teacher Nick Williamson, Kelly Azlin for organizing the skits, Tye and Amanda Adams for hosting the reception, and many others who helped make this year and graduation ceremony special for the students.
Great job Riverdale DARE Class of 2018! Always remember to be SAFE and RESPONSIBLE!