K-M Middle School recognizes D.A.R.E. graduates
Just over 170 fifth graders at Kasson-Mantorville Middle School filed into the school gym last Friday afternoon to celebrate their graduation from the school’s Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E) program. In addition to the students, parents and family members were also on hand for the program.
As part of the graduation program, K-M School Resource Office Jesse Kasel from the Kasson Police Department also recognized four students who advanced to the state competition in the Minnesota D.A.R.E. poster contest sponsored by the Minnesota Twins. Those four students were Lucindli Carney, Hanna Moen, Devin Leeper and Xander Urbanek. Xander also placed in the top 20 of all the poster entrants statewide.
During the course of the 10-week program, Kasal said, students learned to make responsible decisions to help themselves and others, learned to resist tobacco and drugs, deal with stress and peer pressure and how to be good citizens and help others.
Members of K-M’s SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) group also briefly explained what their organization does at the high school level.
Since it’s founding in 1983, as a cooperative project of the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles United School District, the D.A.R.E. has provided a program to give kids the skills they need to avoid involvement in drugs, gangs, and violence. It expanded beyond Los Angeles to include schools throughout the United States and many other countries.
In the Kasson-Mantorville schools, the 10-week curriculum for fifth graders is taught by Kasel, who is a Kasson police officer and the school district’s resource officer.
The lessons start with the basics about responsibility and decision-making and then build on each other to allow students to develop their own responses to real life situations. As the sessions continue, they learn to apply these skills in increasingly complex ways to address drug abuse and other choices they will make.