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Bonlee School celebrates D.A.R.E. graduation

Posted Friday, November 3, 2006

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Bonlee, NC - On Thursday November 2, Bonlee School held a graduation ceremony for students who completed their Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) course. Forty-four fifth graders were presented with certificates as well as D.A.R.E. certificates after completing a ten-hour course with Deputy Kyle Smith of the Chatham County Sheriff's Office. They also received rulers, junior badges, t-shirts, and other D.A.R.E. program paraphernalia. The students wore their t-shirts for the event.

Deputy Smith hosted the event. Smith spoke to the graduates about character and emphasized how proud he is of the students who took the course. He then introduced the D.A.R.E. essay contest winners. Courtney Atkins won from Molly Jones' class and Kenny Norbeck from Jean Adams' class. Both were asked by Smith to read their essays. Atkins spoke first about tobacco and other drug use and how it can affect you. Norbeck then spoke about how he would handle being offered alcohol and other substances.

Sheriff Richard Webster

After the reading of the essays, Chatham County Sheriff Richard Webster pinned honorary badges on Atkins and Norbeck and then took the podium.

Webster encouraged students to pick their peers wisely because that is such an important choice at their age. Then he introduced guest speaker Congressman Bob Etheridge.

Etheridge spoke of his history in education and the support of the D.A.R.E. program at the national level. He reminded students to use their support system (parents, grandparents, and other adults) to help make informed decisions.

"The D.A.R.E. program allows students to view the world through a moral lens," said Etheridge.

The event concluded with the graduates and their families having the opportunity to be photographed with Webster and Etheridge.

"Their speeches were motivational as well as encouraging for the students to strive for a drug-free life as well as making good decisions," said teacher Molly Jones.

The D.A.R.E. program is offered to not only students at Bonlee School, but is offered to students across the county and country. As mentioned earlier, D.A.R.E. is a national program. The program was founded in 1983 in Los Angeles. Currently, the D.A.R.E. program is offered in seventy-five percent of the nations school districts and in forty-three countries around the world.

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Bonlee School celebrates D.A.R.E. graduation
Congressman Bob Etheridge
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