By: Lt. Troy Murray (DARE Officer)
On December 16, 2020, after successfully completing the requirements of the DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program, ten fifth grade students from Riverdale Academy received graduation certificates in a ceremony held in their classroom. Hopes are to have a traditional graduation ceremony with guests, guest speakers and skits in the spring.
Each student took part in the activities which included opening and closing prayers, the Pledge of Allegiance, reading of the DARE vision and mission statements, recognition of the top three DARE essays and one student who shared what DARE meant to him. Students recognized for exceptional DARE reports were Madelyn Chamberlin (1st place), Chloe Spradley (2nd place) and Jax Hearold (3rd place).
At the conclusion of the program, each student anxiously emptied his/her Christmas stocking which had been filled with DARE goodies and enjoyed a piece of delicious chocolate cake to wrap things up.
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, being a good citizen and establishing a help network.
Sheriff 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 Katie Williamson for her help throughout the year as well as Tye and Amanda Adams for providing the refreshments for the students.
Great job Riverdale DARE Class of 2020! Always remember to be SAFE and RESPONSIBLE!
The essay winners are Chloe Spradley (2nd place), Madelyn Chamberlin (1st place) and Jax Hearold (3rd place).