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Taking the D.A.R.E.

Fielding Fifth graders sign pledge

Ellen Cook

Leader Editor

“NO.”  The word resonated through the halls of Fielding Elementary School on Thursday.  With diplomas in hand, 100 percent of the school’s fifth graders vocalized their determination to stay away from harmful drugs, cigarettes and alcohol and to resist and prevent bullying, by simply saying no.

It was the graduation ceremony for the D.A.R.E. program, (Drug Abuse Resistance Education), an international program which partners students, parents and police, and is dedicated to educating youngsters on the dangers of addiction and the need to make good choices.  Those earning a certificate are required to sign pledges stating they desire to stand firm.

Locally the program is funded through the Box Elder County sheriff’s office, and is presented in the school by D.A.R.E officer Chuck Hoffman, an 18-year veteran with the department.

“Children are at the center of this program,” he told the graduation audience of students and parents.  “Parents, teachers and law enforcement must work together, or this (graduation) would not be possible.”

Guest speaker at the program was Heather Anderson, Miss Utah USA 2007, whose father grew up in Bothwell.  She told the group she had many things in common with them, from the love of sports to raising animals for the fair.  Being a D.A.R.E. graduate like them, however, was “the greatest thing I have ever done,” she said.

For more on this story pick up a copy of this week’s Leader.


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