The following are the winning DARE essays from Empire Elementary School and Mark Twain Elementary School. Sheriff Kenny Furlong helped select the winners.
Empire students graduated from the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program on Dec. 16, and Mark Twain students graduated Dec. 20.
According to Deputy Lisa Davis, who runs the DARE program, Sheriff Furlong and Undersheriff Steven Albertsen have made safety and substance abuse prevention a priority and under their leadership the program is growing and expanding daily.
"The concept is to build positive relationships between youth and law enforcement - and it is building," she said. "DARE is only one of the many services we are providing to make this goal a reality."
The DARE curriculum is offered in every elementary school in Carson City.
"We have taught, or are teaching, the middle school DARE curriculum at Carson Middle School - the SOAR after-school program and at the Boys & Girls Club," Davis said. "We have received a very positive welcome and have strong support from a broad-based sect of the community. Parents, the school district and the Boys & Girls Club have welcomed these services with strong support."
The sheriff's department pays for the bulk of prevention services, but has also received donations and supplemental funding from a grant.
by Angel Salas
Fifth-grader at Mark Twain Elementary School in Hadley Swope's class
DARE! DARE stands for Drug Abuse Resistance Education and is also a decision-making model. I'm going to tell you about what I have learned so far and how the decision-making model will help you make good choices. All you have to do is Define, Assess, Respond and Evaluate.
I have learned many things, like that tobacco has more than 200 known poisons which are found in cigarette smoke. That's why 3,000 people die from breathing the smoke. I even learned that marijuana smoke contains 50-70 percent more cancer-causing chemicals than tobacco.
They taught us about how if you drink too much alcohol it could cause a coma and even lead to death. They taught us about peer and personal pressure and how it can be good and bad. Plus, during all the lessons they taught us how to respond like, saying "Not me," cold shoulder and "No, because" and then you state a fact.
We even played games to remember how to respond proud and fast. When they taught us these things I realized so many people die because of drugs, marijuana, tobacco and alcohol. I'm glad they taught us these things because I won't do them later and I'll know how to respond.
As long as I live I promise not to have anything to do with tobacco, drugs, and alcohol abuse. I also promise to use my decision making model for tough situations. That is why DARE is the class for me!
by Isaiah Machado
Fifth-grader at Empire Elementary School in Ingrid Frenna's class
Now this is what I learned in DARE I learned that if someone offers you a cigarette, you have a choice and that it is your decision, and that other person can't make you do it. You have the right to say "No!" They taught us that in DARE.
Now, let's talk about pressure. There are all types of pressure like positive pressure. That is when someone tries to get you to do the right thing. There is teasing pressure - that's when someone tries to tease you to do something you don't want to do - like calling you "Chicken." That is what teasing pressure is.
Another thing I learned was that tobacco is not your friend. Tobacco wants to kill you so if someone offers you tobacco state a fact. Say, "Like if I take that I would not be able to skateboard or play football and I'm looking forward to being a professional football player which is something I want to be."
Or say it slows down your body. Or say that's a bad thing and go and tell an adult.
Wowza. I did not know that a cigarette has 200 poisons. Here are some of the poisons - moth killer, raid and rat poison - that's disgusting. You don't have to tell me twice not to smoke, just imagine kissing someone who just had a cigarette. I think I would throw up. Don't you think that's disgusting? Yeah, I thought so.
I'll never ever, ever, ever smoke marijuana because you get short-term memory loss. Say your parents told you to take the trash out and you are about to do it, and you forget what they said, and just go outside and end up getting into trouble. I don't want my parents asking me, "Have you been smoking marijuana?" and you say no, but they can smell it on your clothes and breath.
Just imagine being grounded for the rest of your life. You don't want that now do you? I'm happy to have graduated DARE and I'm happy to be a part of the team. It's a great honor to be a giver not a receiver. So thank you, Officer Davis and your helpers.