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Thirty-five fifth graders complete D.A.R.E. class with graduation ceremony

D.A.R.E. POSTER WINNERS. Students in the Drug Abuse Resistance Education class at the Arthur Grade school draw posters illustrating the lessons they learn during the class. A panel of teachers and staff vote on their favorite poster in each class and then they are turned into banners that are displayed on the fence along Vine Street. Pictured at the top is Kyndrie Carter, the winner in Mrs. Kauffman’s class. She is the daughter of Erica and JJ Carter. At the bottom is Jase Kingery, the winner in Mr. Punches’s class. He is the son of Aubrey and Zack Kingery.

“There is no doubt that kids today grow up in a complex and confusing world. Through television, movies, music and most of all, their peers, our kids are exposed to drugs at a very early age. They’re our kids, …. Our future, and we want their futures to be bright, secure, healthy, and safe.”

That was just part of the message Police Chief Mike Goodman, D.A.R.E. instructor told the 35 fifth graders who completed the Drug Abuse Resistance Education class during the D.A.R.E. graduation on Thursday, May 12, at the Arthur Grade School.

The program brought to conclusion the school’s 35th Drug Abuse Resistance Education class and the 24th year Police Chief Mike Goodman has taught. Over 1,200 students have completed D.A.R.E. since the first class was offered in 1987.

DARE’s primary mission is to provide kids with the information and skills they need to live drug and violence free lives. It establishes positive relationships between students and law enforcement, teachers, parents, and other community leaders.

Village President Rod Randall thanked the parents who encourage and support their children into becoming happy, healthy, and productive members of society. “Without your continuing guidance, the lessons and effects of this program may soon be forgotten,” he stated. “Hopefully the things you have learned will help you make good life decisions in the future,” he told the 2022 graduates.

Randall also thanked Arthur Chief of Police Mike Goodman for his years of dedication to the program and the school district for supporting the police department in conducting this year’s D.A.R.E. program.

As Goodman looked at the fifth graders for the final time, he said, “As I stand here at this graduation, and I look at you, the graduates of this program, I wonder…., I wonder if you will remember the commitments that you have made in this course, the promises that you will keep your bodies free from drugs and alcohol, I wonder… will you make good decisions about risky behaviors, that you will say “no”. Just remember that you are not alone. Look around you, at your classmates, your family, the school officials, and community leaders. Take strength from the fact that all these people will support you and assist you in being true to these commitments that you have made. You have the tools and support that you can rely on to be extraordinary.”

Fifth grader Greyson Yoder opened the ceremony with the welcome. Denton Marner led everyone in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

Two students were recognized for an outstanding job with their DARE Posters. The top poster in Mrs. Kauffman’s class was created by Kyndrie Carter and the winning poster in Mr. Punches’s class went to Jase Kingery. Their posters have been made into banners and are proudly displayed at the Arthur Grade School on the fence out on Vine Steet. Other posters are on display in stores and business windows downtown.

Three students read their commitment essays: Kyndrie Carter, Laila Sanchez, and Payton Tinkle. Karissa Gingerich was not in attendance to read her essay.

In the first lesson, students learned that Daren the Lion, the mascot for the DARE program, stands for courage. It often takes courage to do the right thing, when you are pressured to do something that you know is not right. Jezmin Gutierrez was selected this year to keep Darin.

In addition to receiving certificates, students received D.A.R.E. t-shirts provided by members of Lodge #742 of the International Order of Oddfellows and Rebekah Lodge #347.


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