D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) graduation for fifth graders at Eisenhower, Horace Mann, James, and Wilson Elementary will be held Tuesday, December 17 at 6 p.m. in the Ottumwa High School auditorium. D.A.R.E. officer, Katlyn Overturf, will present the essay winners, poster winners, and then draw winners to receive a free bicycle.
Essay winners include: Bradlie McWilliams, Mason Gravett, Lexi Ferguson, and Crew Wetrich, Eisenhower; Alli Goedken, Andherson Coreas-Olivares, Valeria Lujan, and Luai Bedriss, Horace Mann; Sophia Green, Eliel Deleon, Jade Davis, and Harper Gottschalk, James; and Jocelyn Davis, Clifford Vance Jr., Juana Diego Tomas, Clarence Garrels, Eldana Bekele, and Mitchell Jordan, Wilson.
D.A.R.E. is a comprehensive 17-week prevention program that teaches various skills for resisting illegal drug use to students. Students learn how to avoid violence, resist peer pressure, to say no, to make choices and accept consequences, and to find alternatives to drugs. Overturf, an Ottumwa police officer, teaches D.A.R.E with assistance from the elementary counseling staff. Students must meet several requirements to attend graduation, including complete the 17-week program and all workbook assignments, write an essay, and attend the graduation ceremony.