DARE reflections

 DARE graduation

Bellefontaine Intermediate School fifth-grader Emily Taylor, holding the microphone, reads her essay Tuesday afternoon during the school’s DARE graduation ceremony, accompanied by program leader Bellefontaine Police Department Officer Andy Kennedy, while fellow essay winners are recognized in front of her. Through DARE, Emily said she has learned about being responsible and setting priorities, like completing her homework right after school, and also about good decision-making. A total of 178 DARE students graduated from the program in front of their younger peers in grades three and four and their family members. “Our goal is to help students be prepared for any challenge they might face,” Officer Kennedy said of the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program that also addresses bullying, Internet safety and other risky situations. Fellow DARE essay contest winners who were recognized include: Kylee Boggs, Charlie Bible, Theo Reminder, Mia Oppy, Brandon Case, Payton Campbell, Emma Crabtree, Mason Staley, Julia Easton, Taylor Pine, Cati Jo Snyder, Kristina Brown and Ella Kuba. (EXAMINER PHOTO | MANDY LOEHR)