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Dare Essay Winners 5th Grade

Great Bend Mayor Mike Allison presents certificates to the latest D.A.R.E. essay winners, fifth graders from the five Great Bend elementary schools, as their teachers watch during the Great Bend City Council meeting Monday night.

The Great Bend Police Department’s Drug Abuse Resistance Eduction program joined forces with city officials at Monday night’s City Council meeting to recognize 10 fifth-grade students for writing outstanding essays as a part of the 2016 D.A.R.E. classes.

Between the kids, their teachers and their parents, the council chambers was packed. Mayor Mike Allison praised the “family-like” nature of the program that encourages teacher and parental involvement with the students.

“This is an awe-inspiring site,” said Great Bend Police Department school liaison officer Paul Millard. “I couldn’t be more proud of them.”

Honored with a “night on the town” were:

  • Eisenhower Elementary School: Gwen Mcdonald’s class, top essay Marley Harris and Runner up River Puig-Pafford; and Barb Thoren’s class, top essay Rylan Crawford and Runner up Mckenzie Hinton.
  • Jefferson Elementary School: Elisabeth Gafford’s class, top essay Sydney Mattison and Runner up Ayanna Moriasi; and Leann Miller’s class, top essay Eliana Jackson and Runner up Georgia Schwager.
  • Lincoln Elementary School: Jamie Byer’s class, top essay Maddie Stoskopf and Runner up Ethan Hammeke; and Karen Smith’s class, top essay Isaac Leyva and runner up Taylour Yoder.
  • Park Elementary School: Nina Burton’s class, top essay Sophie Werth and runner up Clarissa Bashor; and Signe Cook’s class, top essay Taiya Clanton and runner up Eve Ramirez.
  • Riley Elementary School: Kelsey Scheuerman’s class, top essay Norma Blair and runner up Hector Dominguez; and Kaci Kilgore’s class, top essay Melanie Gonzalez-Rojas and runner up Justin Leyva.

Only the winners and their teachers were present Monday evening at the meeting.

As a part of the contest, students and their teachers were escorted and treated to dinner at Gambino’s Pizza before receiving recognition and a certificate from Allison.

One requirement of the 14-week D.A.R.E. curriculum is for each student to write an essay explaining what they have learned and why they have decided to make wise decisions concerning friendships, alcohol and drug use, Davis said. The student’s essays were chosen as the most outstanding essay from their respective schools that hosted the D.A.R.E. Program this past semester.

Millard said the essays that talked about staying away from drugs and alcohol, not smoking and ways to combat bullying and ideas on coping with stress.

D.A.R.E. also teaches students important lessons and encourages a healthy lifestyle that can bring personal achievement and benefit society as they grow up and become involved in their community, Millard said.

For more information on the program, call Millard at 620-793-4120.

From Great Bend Tribune

Pueblo County Deputy John Christie and D.A.R.E. Essay Winner Daniela Vasquez

A Liberty Point Elementary School student was the second place finisher in this year’s District 70 D.A.R.E. essay contest, making her teachers and school very proud of her accomplishments.

Daniela Vasquez was recognized at a school assembly for having the second best essay in the competition among nearly 650 fifth graders in Pueblo School District 70.

Through the D.A.R.E. curriculum, taught by Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office deputies, students learn about the importance of steering clear of drugs and alcohol, reporting suspicious activity and bullying to adults and about things like peer pressure.

The hope is to help children develop good lifelong habits that they can carry with them into middle school and beyond.

Liberty Point Elementary School fifth grade teacher Tracee Easton said students are instructed to write an essay but given some free reign on what’s included.

“This year he (Deputy John Christie who taught Liberty Point Elementary School students) said he just wanted to read about what they learned, and how D.A.R.E. affected them,” she said.

Vasquez’s essay included the three things she said were most useful to her – bullying, the D.A.R.E. decision model and tobacco products.

“I think Deputy Christie is really nice and does just a really nice job,” she said. “He taught us a lot like how bad drugs are for us and how important it is to cherish friendships.”

Although the winner of the essay contest was announced at the District-wide D.A.R.E. graduation ceremony, runners up were not mentioned, so Vasquez didn’t know about her accomplishment until Christie congratulated her at the school assembly.

“I was really surprised. I’ve never won such a big award before,” she said.

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