The parking lot at the Kasson-Mantorville middle school was almost full the afternoon of March 17 as proud parents came to see 178 fifth graders receive certificates of achievement for completing the D.A.R. E. program.
The D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program was started in the early 1980s in Los Angeles to help students develop “basic, core skills needed for safe and responsible choices,” according to the school website.
School Resource Officer Jesse Kasel, who hosted the event, said the students participated in a 10-week course with about 45 minutes in each session. The classes covered, among other topics: being responsible; the D.A.R.E. decision-making model and how to make safe and responsible decisions; dealing with peer pressure; stress-handling strategies; non-verbal communication and effective listening; reporting bullying safely; being a good citizen and helping others, good ways to communicate, facts and health risks about drugs, alcohol, and tobacco; and knowing who is a trusted adult when they need help.
Also participating in the ceremony were Kasson mayor Chris McKern, Kasson police Sgt. Jason Peck, and Kasson police chief Kent Berghuis.
Students Kaia Langemo and Braden Davidson read essays about what they learned during the D.A.R.E. training.
Abby Simons and Makena Rismeyer won the ‘D.A.R.E to be a leader’ poster contest; the posters will be forwarded to the state level D.A.R.E. competition.
Mr. Mulrine’s class won the D.A.R.E. box design contest, and