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Fifth Grade Students Graduate From The DARE Program



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Fifth Grade Students Graduate From The DARE Program

By Eliza Hallabeck

Fifth grade students from this year’s Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program at Reed Intermediate School graduated from the program during a ceremony held in the school’s cafetorium Tuesday, June 16.

First Selectman Joe Borst, Superintendent of Schools Janet Robinson, Police Chief Michael Kehoe, Youth Officer Gladys Pisani, School District Health Coordinator Judy Blanchard, and Reed Intermediate School Principal Donna Denniston all spoke to the students and parents assembled for the night’s ceremony.

“Your choices,” said Dr Robinson, “day in and day out, are going to give you your future.”

Students from classes conducted by Lara Brown, Joan Cunningham, Peter Bernson, Kim Wallace, John Sicbaldi, and Christina Mirow passed the program during the ceremony.

Students also spoke by reading essays they submitted for the program. Each class had a representative chosen to have its essay read by Officer Pisani. Brittney Antous, Lauren Beier, Julia C. Faxon, Brendan Gregory, Brittany Bucci, and Cameron Morris were chosen as the essay representatives for their classes.

The DARE program teaches students skills to avoid involvement in drugs, gangs, and violence, according to the event’s program.

Ms Blanchard said during the event that substance abuse prevention is an important part of education, and is taught every year. However, she said, substance abuse education research shows that the most effective way to keep students drug- and alcohol-free is through their parents.

“I ask you to stay very engaged with them,” said Ms Blanchard to the parents in the audience.

Police Chief Michael Kehoe said he has attended the DARE graduations for 19 years, and each one has been special.

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