The Drug Abuse Resistance Education Program started in Ormond in 1992.
Osceola Elementary fifth graders walked across their school's cafeteria stage to commemorate their graduation from the Ormond Beach Police Department D.A.R.E. program on Tuesday, Oct. 9.
Over 200 parents, siblings and other family members of the fifth graders attended the graduation. This year, the program was taught at Osceola by OBPD Officer Marianne Durkin, who thanked the fifth grade teachers for allowing her to come in the classroom, as well as the parents for the way they have raised their children. She said they talked about serious topics like bullying, saying no to drugs and resistance strategies.
"And I'm so proud of them because they have already been showing me how they're going to use that," Durkin said.
The graduation from D.A.R.E., which stands for Drug Abuse Resistance Education, was Osceola Elementary fifth grade teacher Deborah Treur's idea. She thanked the Police Department for investing in the program. D.A.R.E. started in 1992 in the city.
"It's so important," Treur said. "These kids learn so much."
The fifth graders also received "keys to the city," by means of a special pin. City Manager Joyce Shanahan said the purpose of the pins is to remind students that they're learning the "keys" to be successful students and future leaders.
"So, every time you look at that key, we hope you are reminded that Ormond Beach feels that you're special and that you know that you're special when you wear that pin," Shanahan said.
Osceola Elementary Principal Lynn Bruner said that the graduation was like seeing things come full circle by showing support to the first responders. She said she was also excited for the support the event gathered.
"To me, the key for that is because parents are here watching," Bruner said. "The response has been huge."