Notre Dame D.A.R.E. grads

—Seventeen students graduate from drug free program
Cresco - A graduation was held at Notre Dame Elementary for sixth grade students in the Drug Abuse Resistance Education or D.A.R.E. program. The ceremony was held on Jan. 8 with Howard County law enforcement members, teachers, parents and students attending.
Seventeen students graduated from Mrs. Teresa Zeimetz class with Mrs. Jill Ryan as associate. They included Andrew Beran, Olivia Bohr, Jackson Gaul, Shaina Hansmeier, Sean Hart (not present at the graduation) Mati Henry, Korey Hrdlicka, Ben Jackson, Will Ludwig, Audrey Mannery, Preston McCabe, Jayli Pedretti, Kenny Ptacek, Paige Schmitt, Caiden Simiele, Aiden Skoda and Danica Vsetecka.
The program started with the Pledge of Allegiance, and prayer. Howard County Deputy Sheriff Richard Hollenbeck is the main D.A.R.E. educator. He has been in the program for five years.
The Sheriff Mike Miner expressed how the sixth graders have been in the audience in past years of the program, and the younger students will also take part in the program in the future.
The officers all wanted to get the message through that they do not judge and wish to help all the students.
In addition, the students may slip up at times in life, but there are many people around to get the students back on track and to forgive any mistakes.
Mrs Zeimetz took time to thank the officers present stating Jan. 9 was National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day.
The sixth grade class showed the lessons they learned through performing in several skits.
They showed the five resistance strategies. The first was to avoid the subject, the second was strength in numbers, the third was walking away, the fourth was to say no by giving a reason or excuse and fifth was to change the subject.
Each member of the class wrote an essay about the lessons they had learned in the course. The compositions were 250 words long. The top two were honored, and they read their essays to those gathered.
 The first place winner was Olivia Bohr, and the second place winner was Danica Vsetecka .
Olivia stressed, “No matter your age, you can be a role model to somebody.”
In Danica words “D.A.R.E. to make a difference” and she learned about stress pressure.
Over the 10-week course, the students learned the five Ws — Who, What, When, Where and Why. This phrase expresses how the students should report the facts to an adult when under stress from drugs.
Principal Renee Cuvelier, who could not attend the program, wrote a speech that was read aloud to the crowd.
She “double dog dared” the students with the goal that they have healthy lives. She urged them to make good decisions in their lives.
In an interview before the event, Hollenbeck expressed some of the larger actions of the D.A.R.E. program in the regional area. He stated there have been two new changes in the lessons. There were new topics added to the curriculum of prescription medicine and opioid drugs. Hollenbeck is in contact with all the K-12 students at Howard-Winn schools but mainly deals with fifth and sixth graders. Recently he has added the Riceville school to his list of places to educate.
Hollenbeck feels, “The community gets a lot out of [the program].” He feels well supported and appreciated by the community.

Cresco Times

Phone: 563-547-3601
Fax: 563-547-4602

Cresco TPD
214 N. Elm Street
Cresco, IA 52136

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