We attended the D.A.R.E. graduation ceremonies held at Soldotna High School Friday evening, honoring the 5th grade classes from the Soldotna elementary schools. This is a wonderful program, educating the students on the dangers of drugs and alcohol. It is presented by the Soldotna Police Department. They make it fun and challenging for the students. Each student has to write an essay saying what they learned from the D.A.R.E. program. At the end of the session they have a graduation ceremony, then an all night lock in, and lots of food.
My son died from an overdose of heroin. He grew up here, was active in hockey and baseball, served in the U.S. Army, and was employed on the North Slope for many years. We donate a bicycle to the D.A.R.E. program, in memory of Trenton Crowell. I was disappointed whey they presented the bicycle, because it was only said that it was donated from the Crowell family. My intent was for the students to hear a little of Trenton's story, so they would understand that it can happen to them, it does happen to kids here, and to make people aware that there is a drug problem in our communities. Trenton started experimenting with drugs in middle school, could get clean for a while, but could never overcome the addiction. People need to understand that this is real.
Thank you to all that assisted in making the D.A.R.E. program possible. The students all seemed to have a great time and learned a lot. Congratulations to each student for completing the program.
Why isn't it in all elementary schools?
Patricia Rhodes, Kenai
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