Perry Elementary School Celebrates DARE Graduates | Lifestyles

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PERRY — The first 65 students have graduated from the all-new Grade 5 DARE program at Perry Elementary School.

The 10-week program is led by Officer Matt Masci, Perry’s School Resource Officer. This is the first step in the full rollout of the DARE program at Perry Central School.

The fifth-year students were recognized on January 7 at a graduation ceremony. They received DARE certificates.

The school’s Busy Bees organization also purchased Perry PDDARE shirts for all students, as well as a pizza lunch after the ceremony.

In addition to completing the 10-week program, students were asked to write a DARE essay. One winning essay from each class was selected and the winners – Emma Wyant, McKenna Harwood and Jayde Lewis – read their essays at the ceremony. The winners received a medal for their efforts at the ceremony.

Masci and K9 Sunny presented each student with their certificates. He was accompanied by Superintendent Daryl McLaughlin, Principal Maura Gilsinan, Councilor Laura Kettle, Chief Michael Grover and Sergeant Blake Russell.

Other highlights included a visit from Daren the DARE lion, the Pledge of Allegiance led by Toby Davenport, and Mrs. Eberstein and Miss Pawlicki’s class winning the ‘DARE Box’ decorating contest.

DARE has been completely revamped in recent years with a new focus on helping students make safe and responsible choices in the face of peer pressure, bullying, and other social-emotional issues. Last year, the Perry Police Department and Perry Central School District embarked on a journey to bring DARE back to school in kindergarten, fifth, seventh and ninth grade.

Masci mentioned at the ceremony that the Kindergarten DARE classes have now begun, which consist of eight 15-minute poster presentations on important safety topics.

Those who missed the live stream ceremony can replay it anytime on the Perry Central School District Facebook page. More updates on DARE can be found by following the Perry PD on Facebook or Instagram by searching for “Village of Perry Police”.

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