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Parents stand to the applause of students Friday during the D.A.R.E. graduation at the Elks Lodge in Santa Maria.

Award-winning essay writer Brian Hildalgo is congratulated Friday after receiving an award from Santa Maria Police Chief Phil Hansen, left, and officers Monique Sandoval and Sam Gwo, during the D.A.R.E. graduation at the Elks Lodge in Santa Maria.

Motivational speaker Retro Bill makes his entrance Friday during the D.A.R.E. graduation at the Elks Lodge in Santa Maria.

More than 900 Santa Maria-area elementary students vowed to make smart choices and consider the consequences of their actions during a Friday morning graduation for the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program.

The twice-yearly ceremony attracts parents, school administrators and community leaders to the Santa Maria Elks Lodge as they celebrate students’ completion of the 10-week program.

“We want to teach students how to take responsibility for themselves and responsibility for their own actions,” said Mike Wheeler, one of the Santa Maria Police Department’s D.A.R.E. officers. “We’re giving them the tools to stop and think about the decisions they’re making.”

According to Wheeler, the program has expanded beyond its drug-free messaging and now focuses on resisting peer pressure, dealing with stress and, ultimately, making smart choices.

“These skills apply to everyday life — at home, in school and with friends — and are things they can use for the rest of their life,” he said.

Wheeler said Friday’s graduation is the first since the Santa Maria-Bonita School District restructured its D.A.R.E. program to add two new instructors: officers Sam Gwo and Monique Sandoval. The three officers will also interact with the graduates during rotations as school resource officers for area junior high schools.

“You’re the reason we do this; we’re proud you made it to this point” Wheeler told the students. “I can’t wait to see what the future holds for all of us.”

From Santa Maria Times

Osage Student Wins State D.A.R.E. Essay Contest

Osage Student Wins State D.A.R.E. Essay Contest

A school-wide celebration was held last week in honor of Osage Middle School student Ashley Muhs, who won the 2018-19 state D.A.R.E. essay contest. Muhs, who is a seventh-grader this fall, wasn’t able to attend the state D.A.R.E. convention over the summer to read her winning essay aloud…

Surgeon General Sounds Alarm On Risk Of Marijuana Addiction And Harm

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Local School Resource Officer, Deputy Brian Ruckstuhl, Recognized by the State

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Deputy Brian Ruckstuhl is this year’s Larry R. Cox D.A.R.E Officer of the Year. “I love doing what I’m doing. I love coming here to Otsego. Couldn’t imagine being anywhere else,” said Ruckstuhl. The D.A.R.E officer has been teaching D.A.R.E classes at Otsego Local Schools for 6 years…

Prevention 101: The Science Behind Healthy Decision Making for Students

Prevention 101: The Science Behind Healthy Decision Making for Students

The D.A.R.E. America – National School Board Association webinar conducted by Richard Clayton, PhD and David L. Wyrick, PhD on August 13, 2019 is now online to view. The webinar will help the listener understand the evidence and theoretical base underlying Prevention Science, identifying the D.A.R.E. curricula as a model program. The D.A.R.E. curricula focuses on providing cutting edge instruction that helps prevent drug use by developing basic, core Socio-Emotional skills needed for safe and responsible choices…

Fifth-Grade Student Wins Kansas D.A.R.E Essay Contest

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TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – A fifth-grade student from El Paso Elementary School has been named the winner of the D.A.R.E essay contest, according to Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt. Lauren Wilson, a 5th-grade student from Derby Kansas, participated in the Derby...

El Paso Student Wins Statewide D.A.R.E. Essay Contest

El Paso Student Wins Statewide D.A.R.E. Essay Contest

Lauren Wilson, a Derby North Middle School student, said she was shocked to be announced as the statewide winner of the D.A.R.E. essay contest. Lauren Wilson says she would have entered an essay contest for the statewide D.A.R.E. program even if it hadn’t been a...

Tazewell Deputy Recognized As D.A.R.E. Officer Of The Year

Tazewell Deputy Recognized As D.A.R.E. Officer Of The Year

TAZEWELL COUNTY, VA (WOAY) – Deputy Landon Hieatt of the Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office was recognized at the 2019 Virginia School Safety Training Forum in Hampton, Virginia on Wednesday, July 31, 2019, as the recipient of the Bentowski-Eanes Virginia D.A.R.E....

D.A.R.E., Sheriff Lopey Earn National Recognition

D.A.R.E., Sheriff Lopey Earn National Recognition

D.A.R.E. International President & Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Francisco X. Pegueros, & the “D.A.R.E. Kids” with Sheriff Lopey. Lopey received the 2019 D.A.R.E. International Law Enforcement Executive of the Year Award, presented on June 25 at the 32nd D.A.R.E. International Annual Training Conference in Phoenix, Ariz…

Copyright 2019 D.A.R.E. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright 2019 D.A.R.E. All Rights Reserved.