-Sara S., grade 5
D.A.R.E has taught me so much in the past ten weeks. I know that tricky and very risky situations may occur at any time in my life. I could be asked if I wanted to eat or drink something that is illegal for me because I am underage. If I give in to the peer pressure I could get seriously hurt or sick . D.A.R.E has also taught me how stress can get very overwhelming for everyone, and how to communicate this effectively. I know that some choices are hard to make, and sometimes we don’t make the right ones. We have responsibility for these actions, and we need to know how much this could hurt us.
StJP fifth graders celebrated their D.A.R.E. Graduation on Thursday, May 26 at Saint Basil Academy
I have learned numerous facts about smoking and drugs in general. Smoking and chewing tobacco can cause lung cancer, mouth cancer, tooth loss, and other health problems. For example, chewing tobacco reduces the amount of blood that flows to the brain, which could hurt you physically and mentally. Without the right amount of bloodflow to your brain long term damage could occur. There is more than two hundred known chemicals in cigarettes, which could hurt anyone that uses or has used these harmful drugs.
D.A.R.E has also taught me resistance strategies for smoking, for example: avoiding the situation–staying away from any places that you know have drug users, and strength in numbers–hanging out with nonusers especially where drugs are expected. Walking away is another example. If someone asks you to smoke say no and walk away. Saying no while giving a reason or excuse is another strategy–giving an excuse or good reason to not use drugs, and changing the subject– changing the subject without giving into the drugs. During D.A.R.E we use a method called “FLIP THE FLAP!” Which means we use the D.A.R.E. decision making model: Define, Assess, Respond, and Evaluate, we use this method a lot to figure out our “What Should They Do?”section of our D.A.R.E.manual, which asked us questions about what someone should do in a hard situation.
The next thing we all learned about was bullying. Now, we had learned about this in the past at my school, so I knew a lot about this topic. I learned the five W’s of reporting bullying: Who, What, When, Where and Why. These are all very important for the steps of reporting bullying and now I know them all–Who: tell a trusted adult,then who the bully was and most importantly, did it happen to YOU?, What: what kind of bullying, (be very specific!), When: the time of the bullying, and if it was recent and constant, Where: where you tell someone can be very important and this could also change what there is to tell, and Why: so this bullying can stop and so no one else can go through what you had to go through.
I have learned about a lot of other words and definitions like the My Help Network: a person or a group of people you can call on for advice, and that there is also a difference between tattling and telling. Telling is providing information to a trusted adult to help someone or keep them safe, while tattling is when you want to get someone in trouble for a harmless behavior. I can use this information to help me in the future by know what’s right for me to have and what is not. An example would be if someone told me “Hey Sara if you don’t take this I’m gonna punch you in the face!” I would know how to handle it.
In conclusion D.A.R.E has showed me so much and taught what and what not to do. I know that life can be tough, and we could be asked or pushed into something that we don’t want to do or that is illegal. My D.A.R.E officer has taught me and my fellow students so much and so well. I have learned about so much about drugs, smoking, tobacco and a lot more! I loved the experience of D.A.R.E and wish I could do it again!