149 Watford City fifth-graders made history Thursday. After 15 weeks, they are the first class to graduate from its D.A.R.E. program.

“I’m really proud of the 149 kids we had graduate today,” said Sgt. Jeffrey Jensen, school resource officer.

This program might be a little bit different than the one you went through as a kid. Not only did they learn how to say no to drugs and alcohol, but also how to treat people. They learned how by using the D.A.R.E. Decision Making Model.

“We want them to use these skills at home, in the community, in the classroom, everywhere in their life, basically. It feels good to hear from our students that this is something they actually use every single day, it makes me proud,” Jensen said.

A couple of students went above and beyond over the last 15 weeks and received the leadership award. They both got a “Daren the Lion” to take home with them.

“I volunteer a lot, I help out in class and I’m quiet during everything, basically,” said Jaxon Peterson.

While both students didn’t know they were receiving it, one of them was actually speechless.

“I looked up on the screen and I’m like, ‘oh my gosh, that’s my name!’” said Leah Dokken.

And how does she feel about being the first graduating class?

“It feels really cool and like we get to set an example for all the younger grades and students,” Dokken said.

After each DARE class, Jensen would say the same five words.

“Be safe and be responsible is our motto, and they really took to it,” Jensen said.

Sgt. Jensen said he’s already looking forward to teaching the D.A.R.E. program to next year’s fifth graders.

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Copyright © 2021 D.A.R.E. America.
All Rights Reserved.