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Congratulations D.A.R.E. Grads!




Eggert and Ellicott Elementary fifth grade students recently graduated from the 15 week D.A.R.E. program.  The students spent the 15 weeks of the program meeting with Orchard Park Police Officer Kristen Mazur, learning and discussing ways to appropriately make decisions that could affect their lives. Students at South Davis and Windom Elementary will graduate from the D.A.R.E. program in the spring.

The D.A.R.E. program teaches 5th grade students many lessons that can be used throughout their lives.  Students learn about making safe and responsible choices using the D.A.R.E. Decision Making Model, dealing with negative peer pressure, social media safety, dangers of alcohol, tobacco and vaping, bullying and so much more.  The program emphasizes teaching students how to become good citizens within our community.

Officer Mazur was able to use a combination of recorded lessons, Google Meets and in-person curriculum to teach the fifth graders over the course of their 15 weeks in the D.A.R.E. program.  The fifth grade students were so thrilled to be graduating from D.A.R.E. and to share the information they learned.  Each cohort of each class had their own graduation ceremony and a student from each cohort was able to read their D.A.R.E. essay.  The graduation speakers included the building principal, a member of the Orchard Park Police Department’s Command Staff and Officer Mazur 

Officer Mazur states, "We are so fortunate that we were able to continue the D.A.R.E. program this year.  The police department, school district administration, elementary principals and the 5th grade teachers came up with a plan to safely deliver these important life lessons to our students during this school year. It has been an amazing semester.  The students were taught these lessons in many different ways but they showed that they were able to learn all of the valuable information that the D.A.R.E. program provides and I am looking forward to the next semester of classes.  This was also a learning experience for me, but it was so worth it.  Being able to adjust and adapt our program during these different times has not just made me a better D.A.R.E. Officer but it has also strengthened our D.A.R.E. program here in Orchard Park.  I really want to thank the 5th grade students for all of their hard work and dedication to this program."

Students at both Eggert and Ellicott graduated the D.A.R.E. program in January.  The Orchard Park D.A.R.E. program has graduated more than 16,000 students since its inception.  Orchard Park D.A.R.E. officer, Kristen Mazur, continuously works in order to complete the D.A.R.E. mission of Teaching students good decision making skills to help them lead safe and healthy lives.