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Column: WCS students learn lessons through D.A.R.E.

WORTHINGTON -- Have you ever heard of D.A.R.E? I had the opportunity to participate in the D.A.R.E program this year. I had a lot of fun, but more importantly I learned skills that will help me on a daily basis. I am grateful that Officer Jacki took time to teach the dare program to me and the other students at Worthington Christian School. She taught me about a lot of different situations. This is what I learned in D.A.R.E!

First, the D.A.R.E program taught me how to make safe, healthy and responsible choices. I learned that I should never do any type of drug or alcohol. As a fifth- grader drugs and alcohol are not part of my life, but Officer Jacki shared the importance of being responsible in taking regular medicines like ibuprofen or cold medicine. Learning to take these in a responsible manner is important for a person my age.

Second, the D.A.R.E program taught me the importance of proper communication. Bullying is a scary part of my life. I have felt like I was bullied but didn't have the courage to share what was going on with my teacher, even though my school has a No Bullying Policy. Officer Jacki taught me how to report bullying safely and anonymously. I must also be confident in communicating my thoughts. This doesn't mean that I won't be afraid, but I can be confident in trusting my feelings and thoughts.

Third, the D.A.R.E program taught me how to resist things and handle stress. If I am confident in my thoughts and decisions, it will cause less stress in the long run. When stress occurs, then I may make poor or unwise decisions.

Fourth, the D.A.R.E program taught me how to use the D.A.R.E Decision Making Model (DDMM) to make good choices in my life. This model helps me make hard decisions. I need to follow the four steps: define, asses, respond and evaluate. When I make choices, it is my personal responsibility to think about the choices I make. Everyone should think about what they do before rushing off and just doing it. It is also very important for me to take my responsibilities seriously. Responsibilities should have consequences if they are not done correctly. There are good and bad consequences.

I learned about so much while in the D.A.R.E program. I like the way it is set up and how they teach you. Officer Jacki taught me so much about standing up for myself and being responsible for myself. I love the fact that a police officer took time from her busy day to teach me new life skills.

Marissa Eekhoff is a fifth-grade student at Worthington Christian School.