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DeLalio Students Learn To 'Just Say No To Drugs'
By Lance Cpl. Theresa E. Seng
MCAS New River

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION NEW RIVER(May 28, 2001) — Forty-six fifth-grade students from DeLalio Elementary School graduated from the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program May 9 in the school's cafeteria.

Gunnery Sgt. Timothy W. Johnson, New River's DeLalio Elementary DAREofficer, spent 17 weeks teaching the 10- and 11-year-olds about problems in today's society and how to resist drugs and violence.

Picture of Gunnery Sgt standing with DARE program graduate
Gunnery Sgt. Timothy W. Johnson, New River's DeLalio Elementary Drug Abuse Resistance Education officer, stands with one of the newest graduates of the DARE program May 9.
(Photo by: Lance Cpl. Theresa E. Seng)

"The police start the program and work with the school, but it ends with the parents," said Johnson. "They are the key to making the program work. Without the parents' support, what the children learned will go unpracticed."

The program is important
because it teaches about the many different drugs
people are using today and gives the kids options to say no, said Nicole L. Torrence, DeLalio Elementary fourth- and fifth-grade teacher.

One main requirement for graduating from this program was to write an essay entitled "Taking a Stand," said Johnson.

"I know [the students] paid attention and learned something,
" said Torrence. "I could tell that by reading the essays."

Three essays were selected and read at graduation. Each of the three winners were awarded a DARE medallion, said Johnson.

Colonel Dennis T. Bartels, commanding officer of the Air Station, spoke at the graduation.

"I like to show support for the schools and students as well as the families on base, and to show the schools the military is taking an active part in the program," said Bartels.

The ceremony ended with a cake and soda party to congratulate the fifth-graders on their accomplishment. red ribbon icon

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