D.A.R.E. provides awards, barbecue to area kids
Jefferson — Fifth-graders from seven Knox County schools gathered June 11 for a barbecue to celebrate the completion of the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program.
The event at Damariscotta Lake State Park also recognized essay contest winners from each school. Students and their teachers were treated to a barbecue with hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad and drinks.
School participating in the event were: Prescott Memorial School in Washington, Union Elementary School, Appleton Village School, Warren Elementary School, Thomaston Grammar School, Owls Head Central School and St. George School. Friendship Village School students participated in the D.A.R.E. program, but were unable to attend the barbecue. They had an ice cream social at the school June 13.
D.A.R.E. is offered to fifth-graders at each of the schools for 45 minutes once a week for about 12 weeks and is taught by Knox County Deputies Nathaniel Jack and Lance Mitchell and Sgt. John Palmer. The three deputies each attended a two-week training to become D.A.R.E. officers, Palmer said.
"Without the help of the teachers allowing us to come into the classroom this program doesn't happen," Palmer said.
Students learn about peer pressure, anti-bullying, effective communication, drug resistance strategies, how to deal with stressful situations, risks, and the consequences of actions.
"It's about more than just drugs these days," Palmer said of the program.
As part of the program students were asked to write an essay about what they learned from DARE and how they are going to use it throughout their life.
A winner from each school was selected and then of those eight essays Sheriff Donna Dennison selected an overall winner.
The grand prize winner was Grace Cody from St. George School. She was awarded a $125 in gift cards, a D.A.R.E. pen set, and Daren, the D.A.R.E. lion mascot.
School winners were Mackenzie Emerson of Friendship, Makayla Swan of Warren, Fiona Smith of Appleton, Jasmine Leigh of Washington, Ian Doughty of Union, Hannah Emily Edwards of Owls Head and Owen Underhill of Thomaston. They each received a $25 gift card and the stuffed lion mascot.
Lunch was provided by Lincoln's Country Store in Warren.
Courier Publications Copy Editor Kim Lincoln can be reached at 594-4401 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.