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Cpl. Chris Stephens congratulates a student on completing the of the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program at Laurel Bay, Dec. 17. The goal of the program is the educate students on the danger of substance abuse. Cpl. Stephens is the school resource officer. (Photo by: Cpl. Debra Sainer/Released

Photo by Cpl. Debra S. Sainer

Bolden elementary hosts D.A.R.E. graduation ceremony

27 Dec 2018 | Cpl. Debra Sainer Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort

The D.A.R.E. program is a ten week course that
teaches students about the effects of drugs and violence.
“At this point, they are developing and getting
ready for middle school, where they’re going to have a lot more decisions to make, a lot more coming at them, changes in themselves and their friends” said Cpl. Chris Stephens, a Police Officer with School Resource Officer at Bolden Elementary. “I think it is important to instill good decision making skills at this age. Now when they go to middle school and their friends are trying to get them to do something they know they shouldn’t, they know how to say no.”
D.A.R.E. was founded in 1983 as a police officer-led series of classroom lessons. The police officers educate children from kindergarten through 12th grade how to resist peer pressure and live productive drug and violence-free lives.
“I try to be the best role model I can be” Stephens
said. “I strive to be someone they can look up to and respect. They don’t think of me so much as a police officer; they think of me more as the person they talk to everyday at lunch and in the hallways.”
D.A.R.E. has proven so successful
that it is now being implemented in 75 percent of
our nation’s school districts and in more than 52 countries around the world.
“It’s the greatest feeling when students come
back and tell me that they remember lessons
I taught them” Stephens said. “It feels great to
know that I have an impact on their lives.”
During the ceremony Stephens talked about how great these students did throughout the course and how they are the leaders that will go on to make a positive impact on their peers.
Bolden will continue to have students participate
in this program for years to come, so the leaders of tomorrow can continue to live healthy lifestyles and better their community.
“I learned a lot in D.A.R.E.” said Dayton Leland, a student at Bolden Elementary and a D.A.R.E. graduate. “I learned about the health effects of alcohol and nicotine. I even found out that kids my
age will try them. Now if I see my friends doing
it, I will know that it’s bad for me and I maybe
even tell them to stop.”

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