Three Vermillion students who successfully completed the D.A.R.E. program have something more than the knowledge they learned from the class to show for their efforts. Hannah McClelland and Kelly Kronaizl won second and third place for their essays. Olivia Young won third place for her poster design. Hanna received a $75 savings bond and Kelly and Olivia each received a $50 savings bond from the South Dakota D.A.R.E. Officers Association.
Many people know D.A.R.E. as Drug Abuse Resistance Education. The acronym is also used as a decision making model Define Assess Respond Evaluate. D.A.R.E. is taught at Jolley and St. Agnes schools in Vermillion as well as Irene-Wakonda Elementary by Deputy Paul Pederson.
One of the requirements for the students to be considered a D.A.R.E. graduate is that they must write a minimum one-page essay. The essay describes what they learned and how they are going to use it to help them make wise choices in the future. The essays are judged locally and a winner from each fifth grade class is determined. The local winners are then sent to the state level where they are judged against four other schools and approximately 120 other students.
"I knew when I sent in my six local winners that I had some very good essays that could possibly win at the state level." Deputy Pederson said.
To have Vermillion students win three out of the six awards that were given made him very proud of the students that he has had in his class. Olivia's poster was judged against approximately five other entries. Her poster will be put on display at Jolley School.