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MONROE, La. – In Monroe, a graduation was held for kids who dare to be different.

Shady Grove Elementary held it’s annual D.A.R.E. graduation Tuesday, honoring kids who vow to fight against drugs and bullying.

Organizers from the Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office gave an encouraging message to the kids, getting them fired up about their futures.

27 fifth graders completed the program and four were entered into the D.A.R.E. essay contest to compete with other contestants around the state.

People over the program at Shady Grove say D.A.R.E. helps kids learn how to face their every day battles with peer pressure.

“Knowledge is power and the more they know the more they’ll be able to resist and the more they’ll be able to shape their own lives instead of having somebody else shape it,” says Rhonda Hutson, Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Deputy.

“This is the perfect grade to have that D.A.R.E. program introduced to them and knowing how to handle those situations,” says Deljorie Stewart, 5th grade teacher at Shady Grove.

The D.A.R.E. program has been striving to making a difference for the kids at Shady Grove for over 10 years.

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