MORRIS – On Nov. 18, White Oak Elementary School and the Morris Police Department held the fifth-grade D.A.R.E. graduation ceremony at White Oak Elementary School.
Principal Christopher Maier welcomed the many parents and guests to the fifth-grade D.A.R.E. graduation ceremony and thanked them for their attendance and support of both the graduates and the Morris police D.A.R.E. Program.
The students participated in the 11-week program, which focuses on teaching them life skills which will help them make positive decisions as they grow up. The program further stresses how being drug free helps build a foundation for the rest of their lives.
Pat Halloran, superintendent of Morris Community High School District 101, was the featured speaker. Since acronyms are used throughout the D.A.R.E. Program, Halloran introduced the acronym C.A.R. to the students. Halloran spoke about the importance of character, attitude and relationships, and how they influence the lives of young people.
He gave examples of some important “learning moments” in his life and how those moments helped mold him into the person he is today. Halloran congratulated the students and wished them good fortune in the future.
As part of the 11-week D.A.R.E. program, each student was required to write an essay on what they learned in D.A.R.E. and why they think it is important to avoid drugs and violence.
A representative from each class was recognized and each read their essay as part of the graduation ceremony.
Class representatives received a D.A.R.E. sports ball and a D.A.R.E. essay winner medallion. The class representatives were Keaton Auwerda, Amber Brown, Tyler Davis, Brett Hall and Andrea Barron.
Each D.A.R.E. graduate received a D.A.R.E. T-shirt, a D.A.R.E. pin and a certificate recognizing their achievement.
Patrol Officers Doris Noll, Scott Ator and Jessica Smith were the instructors for the program this year.