DARE Graduates 65 Elementary Students

From the Red River Parish Sheriff’s Office

On March 25, 2021, sixty-five Red River Elementary School (RRES) students were presented graduation certificates for successfully completing the requirements of the DARE program. Due to Covid-19 precautions, attendance was limited to fifth grade students, select RRES faculty/administration and sheriff’s office staff. Red River Parish Sheriff’s Deputy/DARE Officer Michael Longino officiated the ceremony.

DARE, which stands for Drug Abuse Resistance Education, is a program designed to teach students the dangers of using drugs, alcohol and tobacco as well as “how to say no” using DARE’s five resistance strategies. Topics covered include communication skills, peer pressure, stress and bullying along with facts and health effects of using drugs, alcohol and tobacco. Students also learn the DARE Decision Making Model which is designed to help them make safe and responsible choices throughout their lives.

While all the students did a great job, every year one member of each fifth grade class is selected as a workbook winner while another is recognized for writing the best DARE essay. This year’s workbook winners were Ceryniti Taylor, Ashlee Procell, Brody Tong and Jada Gary. DARE essay winners were Gabby Flores, Gabi Bounds, Christopher Griffith and Elizabeth Thomas. Ashlee Procell was also presented with a special DARE Officer’s award by Deputy Longino. Great job everyone!

During the service Sheriff Glen Edwards, Red River Parish School Superintendent Alison Hughes and Principal  Mike Beck spoke to the students about the importance of making wise decisions, setting good examples and being a role model for others as they are the future leaders of our parish.

It is clear that the pandemic, along with several unusual weather events, brought its share of challenges and interruptions to this year’s DARE program which began last September. Sheriff Edwards would like to thank the Red River Parish School Board, RRES faculty/administration and Deputy Longino for working together to ensure that the DARE program was made available and successfully completed.

Deputy Longino would like to thank fifth grade teachers Kayla Terrell, Tammy Sutton, Megan Inman and Ashley Fisher as well as Counselor Crystal Williams for their continued support. He would also like to express his thanks to the fifth grade students for their hard work and dedication and to the parents for entrusting their children to us!