PRYOR, OK —
The Lincoln Elementary fourth-grade students roared like champions at the Drug and Alcohol Resistance Education graduation Wednesday morning.
Area fourth-grade students participate in a 10-week drug and alcohol education program led by Pryor Police Department's School Resource Officer Jeremy Cantrell.
Throughout the graduation assembly it became apparent Katy Perry's song “Roar” had become the D.A.R.E. anthem.
“I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire 'cause I am a champion and you're gonna hear me roar,” the students sang along. D.A.R.E. mascot Darren the Lion joined in for the next line, “Louder, louder than a lion 'cause I am a champion and you're gonna hear me roar.”
Pryor Police Chief Dennis Nichols congratulated the students on their graduation on behalf of the Pryor Police Department. Miss Pryor 2013, Bailey Kennedy, spoke to the students about the importance of good decision making, something emphasized in the D.A.R.E. program.
“D.A.R.E. is a program that has been taught around the world since 1983. They used to tell kids to 'just say no,' but they've found that doesn't work,” Cantrell told the parents present. “Now it is a 10-week course with evidence based lessons.”
Before jumping into a breakdown the lessons of the program for the parents Cantrell enthusiastically asked the students, “What time is it?” To which they cheered, “D.A.R.E. time.”
Cantrell told the parents that over the course of the program, the students learned several valuable lessons; responsible decision making, peer pressure, identifying and dealing with stressful situations, communication, bullying and safely reporting problems and getting help.
Winners of the program's essay contest all recognized the D.A.R.E. decision making model as a key component in the program, Define, Assess, Respond and Evaluate.
Ross Barriger, the winner from Sarah Melugin's class said he learned to use the DDMM (D.A.R.E. decision making model) to make better choices.
“I'm so thankful fourth grade gets D.A.R.E., it's been so much fun,” said Arauna Daily, essay contest winner from Emily Gardner's class. “I learned to report things in a safe way and make safe and responsible decisions.”
The winner from Kathy. Lee's class, Addie Moore, said that “D.A.R.E. is an exciting way to learn to do the right thing.”
“It taught me not to stand up for people. It showed me many ways to be a good person,” said Moore. “D.A.R.E. inspired me to do many things.”
Before presenting the students with their certificates, Cantrell took a moment to say what an honor it is to be the D.A.R.E. officer.
“It is my honor to work with your fourth-graders,” he said. “It is the best move I've ever made in my career. I am thankful for the opportunity to form relationships with such great kids.”