RUSSELLVILLE - Cole County R-I Schools recognized 40 students who graduated from the D.A.R.E (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program, led by Cole County Sheriff's Deputy Joe Matherne.
The goal of the 10-week D.A.R.E. program is to help equip children to make safe and responsible decisions.
Matherne met weekly with classes, providing lessons on responsible decision-making practices, identifying risky situations and consequences, peer pressure and ways to avoid it, identifying and handling stress, effective communication and effective listening, bullying and developing support networks.
The program discusses alcohol and drug facts, but the revamped lesson plans focus more on making safe and responsible life choices.
Alexis Christmann and Gabbriella Kauffman were first place essay winners in their classrooms, receiving a D.A.R.E. bag and medal.
Megan Rector and Logan Morris were runner-ups in the essay contest, receiving a CD holder and a medal.