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KAILUA-KONA — Some six hundred Big Island students took the D.A.R.E. pledge to be drug- and violence-free and healthy Friday morning at Kekuaokalani Gymnasium in Kailua-Kona.

The annual Drug Abuse Resistance Education Day event brought in students from as far away as Paauilo for a day of fun to celebrate completion of the 10-week program. Schools in attendance were Kanu o ka Aina NCPCS, Konawaena Middle School, Honokaa Elementary School, Honokaa Intermediate School, Waikoloa Elementary School, Waimea Elementary School, Kohala Elementary School and Paauilo Elementary and Intermediate School.

The D.A.R.E. program was founded in 1983 by the Los Angeles Police Department to teach school-age children how to resist peer pressure and live drug- and violence-free lives, according to the nonprofit organization’s website. It has been taught in schools throughout Hawaii for more than three decades.

From West Hawaii Today