On Thursday, December 20, East Meadows 5th graders became D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) graduates. Officer Zac Robinson welcomed family and friends as he commended the 5th graders for completing their 10-week educational training. In order to receive their graduation certificates, students participated in class discussions and activities, learned songs, and wrote thoughtful essays on why it is important to stay away from drugs and other harmful substances. The vision of D.A.R.E. is to create, “A world in which students everywhere are empowered to respect others and choose to lead lives free from violence, substance abuse, and other dangerous behaviors.” The D.A.R.E. program teaches students good decision-making skills to help them lead safe and responsible lives. Additionally, it establishes positive relationships between students and law enforcement, teachers, parents, and other community leaders. Every youngster should have the opportunity to grow-up healthy, safe, secure, and equipped with the skills needed to succeed in life." Outstanding D.A.R.E. essay winners are: Brennen Carter, Billy Hall, Alivia Winkel, Emily Haroldsen, Jessi Mangum, Maisy Reid, Naiya Gardner, Cadence Hew-len, Parker Simpson, Kayla Clark Lauren Rasmussen, and Alissa Simmons. Two students from each class were selected as the Outstanding D.A.R.E. student. From Mrs. Charla Andersen's class, Tracee Jones and Jakob White. Mrs. Annalyse Anderson’s class, Evan Glazier and Malorie Porter. Mrs. Hogle's class, Alyssa Beardall and Nathan Smith. Mrs. Morrow's class, Ryen Hansbrow and Andrew Holley. Congratulations to all the 5th grade students on graduating from this program. We also thank Officer Zac Robinson and the 5th grade teachers for their time in this worthwhile program.