Northumberland Elementary School celebrated the 2019 D.A.R.E. graduation on Wednesday with 93 fifth graders finishing the program.
“D.A.R.E. envisions a world in which students everywhere are empowered to respect others and choose to lead lives free from violence, substance use, and other dangerous behaviors,” says the official website for the program. Dating back to 1983 millions of students have been through one or more of the courses offered through local police officers.
The original courses were changed to the modern day program which discusses way more than just drugs; it delves into teaching children how to make good choices in everyday life. From looking at bullying situations differently, to how to deal with peer pressure, the classes are usable life skills taught by local officers.
In Northumberland Deputy Keith Wilson teaches the courses. With a mustached smile, Wilson seemingly connected with many of the students. The students were obviously happy to see him, and not just because they got out of class to celebrate.
Deputy Wilson and other Northumberland Deputies put on a cook-out for the 2019 D.A.R.E. graduates. While the hot dogs sizzled, Virginia State Trooper Josh Hutchins and his canine companion Chaos entertained the students.
Chaos is a five-year-old German Shepherd who is trained in explosive detection. Hutchins ran Chaos through boxes and plastic containers, so he could spot the box with the odor in it for the kids.
For the full article, pick up the latest Northumberland Echo 4/24/19
Back is Deputy Keith Wilson Front, Left to Right, Virginia Swan, Cameron Brookes,
India Blackwell, Holly Rose. Not pictured Morgan Dunn. Winners of the D.A.R.E.
essay contest at Northumberland Elementary School.