Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

November 29, 2012

Students 'dare' to learn the skills

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat — Learning the skills needed to make better decisions in life is what the D.A.R.E. program is all about for a group of elementary students all across Garvin County.

After making a return to the county last year the program looks to be charging ahead at full force as fifth grade students in schools throughout the county are given the tools to choose a better path in life.

D.A.R.E. stands for Drug Awareness Resistance Education, but officials in the program stress it means so much more.

Along with teaching kids how to stay away from drugs, alcohol and tobacco, it also works to show them how to make better decisions about really anything.

Sheriff Larry Rhodes not only praises the program but Bryon Gordon, his county deputy who serves as the D.A.R.E. officer teaching the classes.

Rhodes also praises the participating students for taking part in a program that can help set a good foundation for their lives.

“Thanks for paying attention to Deputy Gordon this semester,” Rhodes told Lee Elementary students during a recent ceremony where each one received a certificate of completion.

“This is an important program to me,” he said. “It teaches a lot of things to students your age.

“Consider yourself part of something special.”

In addition to Pauls Valley, other area schools taking part in the D.A.R.E. program this semester were Whitebead, Paoli, Elmore City-Pernell and Maysville.

The schools lined up for the program next semester include Wynnewood, Stratford and Lindsay.

As was the case last year for the program that targets its education message to fifth grade students.

During his address to PV students Rhodes stressed it's time for them to take those lessons and use them even after their time in the program ends.

“Your job is not done,” Rhodes said. “You've been given a lot of information, skills have been learned to stay drug free, to do your part not to bully.”

He also added they need to remember to stay away from tobacco, alcohol and to not give into peer pressure.

“Put what you have learned in D.A.R.E. to use,” Rhodes said. “You can use it with every decision you make.

“Go back to what Bryon taught you and the D.A.R.E. model and use it. You'll come up with good decisions.”

(Editor's Note: Another look at the D.A.R.E. program will be in the weekend edition of the PV Democrat.)