La Crosse, WI (WXOW) – Two D.A.R.E. graduates from the area have won a first and second place in D.A.R.E. Wisconsin’s essay contest.
Lilly Ackerman, of Southern Bluffs Elementary in La Crosse, and Lydia Hogue, of St. Patrick’s Elementary in Onalaska, initially tied for first place in the contest.
After a narrow vote by the D.A.R.E. board of directors, Ackerman’s essay won first place.
The essays focus on ways they apply D.A.R.E. lessons in their life, and what D.A.R.E. has taught them. Topics such as drug’s negative effect on the body, and tips for making good decisions in every aspect of life.
Officer Kurt Weaver of the La Crosse Police Department sent Ackerman’s winning essay into the competition.
“She talks a lot about how she used what she learned in class, in real life situations. I think that’s what put her over the top, she showed actual applications of the dare lessons in real life, and she talks about that in her essay.”
D.A.R.E. provides students with more than just drug abuse education, with the topic of decision making a regular classroom topic.
“The big thing that Lilly wrote about, and the focus of every single lesson, is decision making. If you make good choices you will live a better life, makes sense.” Weaver describes.
To assist students with learning about decision making, the program developed a model to use in their daily lives.
“We have what is called the decision-making model where the students can go through and solve problems with this model. Talking about it, thinking it over, what are the good choices and the bad things that can happen with each choice,” explains Weaver.
Both the first and second place essays will be featured on the Wisconsin D.A.R.E. website.
Great Bend Mayor Mike Allison presents certificates to the latest D.A.R.E. essay winners, fifth graders from the five Great Bend elementary schools, as their teachers watch during the Great Bend City Council meeting Monday night.
The Great Bend Police Department’s Drug Abuse Resistance Eduction program joined forces with city officials at Monday night’s City Council meeting to recognize 10 fifth-grade students for writing outstanding essays as a part of the 2016 D.A.R.E. classes.
Between the kids, their teachers and their parents, the council chambers was packed. Mayor Mike Allison praised the “family-like” nature of the program that encourages teacher and parental involvement with the students.
“This is an awe-inspiring site,” said Great Bend Police Department school liaison officer Paul Millard. “I couldn’t be more proud of them.”
Honored with a “night on the town” were:
- Eisenhower Elementary School: Gwen Mcdonald’s class, top essay Marley Harris and Runner up River Puig-Pafford; and Barb Thoren’s class, top essay Rylan Crawford and Runner up Mckenzie Hinton.
- Jefferson Elementary School: Elisabeth Gafford’s class, top essay Sydney Mattison and Runner up Ayanna Moriasi; and Leann Miller’s class, top essay Eliana Jackson and Runner up Georgia Schwager.
- Lincoln Elementary School: Jamie Byer’s class, top essay Maddie Stoskopf and Runner up Ethan Hammeke; and Karen Smith’s class, top essay Isaac Leyva and runner up Taylour Yoder.
- Park Elementary School: Nina Burton’s class, top essay Sophie Werth and runner up Clarissa Bashor; and Signe Cook’s class, top essay Taiya Clanton and runner up Eve Ramirez.
- Riley Elementary School: Kelsey Scheuerman’s class, top essay Norma Blair and runner up Hector Dominguez; and Kaci Kilgore’s class, top essay Melanie Gonzalez-Rojas and runner up Justin Leyva.
Only the winners and their teachers were present Monday evening at the meeting.
As a part of the contest, students and their teachers were escorted and treated to dinner at Gambino’s Pizza before receiving recognition and a certificate from Allison.
One requirement of the 14-week D.A.R.E. curriculum is for each student to write an essay explaining what they have learned and why they have decided to make wise decisions concerning friendships, alcohol and drug use, Davis said. The student’s essays were chosen as the most outstanding essay from their respective schools that hosted the D.A.R.E. Program this past semester.
Millard said the essays that talked about staying away from drugs and alcohol, not smoking and ways to combat bullying and ideas on coping with stress.
D.A.R.E. also teaches students important lessons and encourages a healthy lifestyle that can bring personal achievement and benefit society as they grow up and become involved in their community, Millard said.
For more information on the program, call Millard at 620-793-4120.
From Great Bend Tribune