Moss Street Students Graduate from D.A.R.E.
Moss Street Elementary School student and D.A.R.E. essay contest winner Meka Poole reads aloud from essay at the podium during the D.A.R.E. graduation on March 10. Photo by Justyn Melrose / RockinghamNow.
REIDSVILLE — A generation of Moss Street Elementary School students will face the world with the tools to say ‘No’ after graduating from the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program on March 10.
For 10 weeks, three fifth grade classes learned the dangers of alcohol, cigarettes and drugs in the D.A.R.E. program taught by School Resource Officer Daniel Velazquez of the Reidsville Police Department.
“Basically, the whole D.A.R.E. program has to do with making good decisions,” Velazquez said. “That’s one of the main things in every lesson plan that we have. … We want them at an early age to implement how to make good decisions, how they can judge for themselves, ‘If I do this, what’s the consequence? Is it good consequence or a bad consequence? Should I go left or should I go right?’”
At the close of the program, each student writes an essay on what they learned, and during the ceremony, Velazquez announced the three winners of the school’s D.A.R.E. essay contest: Meka Poole, Sharna Terry and Bryanna McGinnis.
“Officer Velazquez told us that it was illegal to sell drugs and not to drink under the age of 21,” McGinnis read aloud from her essay. “He taught of us about the health effect. Health effect is what happens as a result of using drugs. He also taught us peer pressure. Peer pressure is someone your age trying to get you to do something you don’t want to do.”
According to the Velazquez, these classes of Moss Street students were attentive and engaged through the program.
“A lot of them had expressed when we were done that they wanted to continue,” he said. “It’s a good time. It’s not just sitting in class. We have activities and exercises in class so they all can get up and move around. Everybody gets engaged. “
At the D.A.R.E. graduation ceremony, the department reached out to the students on last time with guest speaker and Reidsville branch NAACP President Jeff Crisp.
“Always surround yourselves with good people,” Crisp said. “Don’t judge anyone. If you see somebody make a mistake, it is your duty to let them know that they’re making a mistake and then you walk away.”
Reidsville Police Chief Robert Hassell addressed the class to tell them that he was proud of them and to reiterate the importance of all that they learned in D.A.R.E.
“Remember that,” he said. “Remember that, not only today but next year and throughout your whole life because it’s important. It will help you be successful in life It will help you be safe. It will help you be productive members of society because each and every one of you is our future.”
Each student was presented with a Certificate of Achievement and the essay contest winners received a stuffed Daren the Lion and a gift package from the Federated Woman’s Club of Reidsville.