D.A.R.E. to Care!

Brigid J. Ripley


Brigid J. Ripley

Fifth grade students show their appreciation to Deputy Dawson at their D.A.R.E. graduation on May 19, 2016. Congratulations! Back Row: Mrs. Lallemont, Maggie Ostrenga, Tessa Richardson, Beau Reijo, Nolan Leskela, Deputy Dawson, Conner Helenius, Carter Lulich, Matthew Knaack, Iris Rosenwinkel & Mr. Gustafson Middle Row: Deanna Johnson, Bell Caratzola, Andi Riddle, Izzy Rantala & Leevi Tapani Front Row: Lily Truchon, Leila Tuura & Kendall Tichenor

Tianna Carpenter, Chronological Editor

D.A.R.E  (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) is a program that educates millions of students in many countries throughout the world about not falling into peer pressure to do drugs. This program was founded in 1983 in Los Angeles and has expanded to about 75 percent of the schools in the United States as well as in 57 other countries and to this day, is an officer-led program.

This year the fifth grade participated in a ten-week program led by Deputy Dawson of the Bayfield County Sheriff’s Department.  Once a week, Deputy Dawson traveled to South Shore with Darrin, the D.A.R.E. mascot, to work with the students, teaching them about the dangers of drugs and best practices to avoid pressure from friends or peers to try them.  “There are numerous reasons to become a D.A.R.E officer,” but according to first year trainer Deputy Dawson, he became interested in the program “because I went through it as well, when I was a student.  It gives the students the tools they need to succeed.  And then, not only that, but I remember my D.A.R.E. instructor from years ago.  You always remember who taught your D.A.R.E.”  Working with such young students is important for the program.  “Establishing that rapport early is so important; they remember that.”  Being a D.A.R.E. officer gives Deputy Dawson a unique opportunity to “break the stereotype that all cops are bad,” leading by example, that they are a resource to be trusted and utilized should the need arise.  There were a number of activities to teach the students but the last week was busy with writing an essay.  They were instructed to write about their dedication to D.A.R.E  by detailing what they learned about drugs & drug abuse and show their knowledge of how to say no.  The winner of the essays were announced during the graduation festivities.

Students celebrated all their hard work and learning with a graduation ceremony that was held on Thursday, May 19.  “We learned not to do drugs or smoke. The graduation was my favorite part!” said Tessa Richardson.  Deputy Dawson was accompanied by Sargent Budreau, a veteran of the D.A.R.E program, dedicating 13 years to educating youth and making positive change, to join in the festivities.  Essay winner was Leila Tuura and there was tie between Nolan Leskala and Conner Helenius for runner-up.  Leila received a D.A.R.E backpack and a hat to take home while the two runner-ups each won a hat.  “It was a lot of fun to go through D.A.R.E and learn of all these facts and about peer pressure and saying no,” Helenius said of the program. Refreshments were provided by Johnson’s Store and the school.