This was my 11th trip to Community School in Prospect to participate in their DARE graduation. DARE is Drug Abuse Resistance Education and it’s a program Prospect runs in the 5th grade.
It’s a program that’s not without controversy. There have been charges over the years that it has encouraged children to turn in their parents, or that it does nothing at all but cost towns money.
I really don’t know.
So, why do I go? And, why do I feel it is so rewarding to me?
First, I think the critics overstate their case. But, even without that, this ceremony has always felt like a family affair. The kids like that their parents are there for their accomplishment. I always talk about this program really means their parents know they’re starting to make independent decisions – and they hope they make the right ones.
After the awards I usually take photos with people and sign autographs. And, I always get a kick out of meeting the kids. It’s good to be in the fifth grade.
While on the stage, I asked everyone with a digital camera to take my picture and send it to me. So far, I’ve gotten… none.