On Thursday, Nov. 21 the Springville School auditorium was full to celebrate the D.A.R.E. graduation for the 5th Grade students at Springville Elementary School.

Springville Principal Greg Moore opened the ceremony for the 5th Grade students, parents, teachers and law enforcement representatives. The 5th grade class sang two opening songs with four soloists, Avery Daniel, Britton Johnson, Ellie Scott Dean and Cole Dixon.

Then each student was presented with a certificate for completing the 10-week program, which included essays written by each student.

The D.A.R.E. program was established in 1983 to help educate students about making healthy choices and avoiding drug abuse, violence and unhealthy choices. St Clair County Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Sleazak administered the 10-week program to the 5th graders at Springville Elementary. The St Clair County Sheriff’s Department has two D.A.R.E officers that educate the county’s youth, Sleazak and Sgt. Matt Morris. The D.A.R.E Program encompasses anti-bullying messages, internet safety, violence prevention and other positive messages in addition to being a drug abuse prevention program.

St Clair County Sheriff Billy Murray also spoke at the graduation and encouraged the students, applauding their accomplishment on graduating from the D.A.R.E. program. Sheriff Murray told the 5th graders to focus on their futures and make right choices. Sheriff Murray was a graduate of Springville Schools and also thanked the students on their participation in the program and achievement.

Sheriff Murray said, “D.A.R.E. is a program that the St Clair County Sheriff's Department is very proud of and we are proud of the positive results it produces.”

Murray also said, “We have been honored to partner with this proven, national program and teach it to students in St Clair County.”

The students, as part of the program, submitted essays that were voted on by an independent panel that decided on the top three essays from each class. A winning essay was chosen and Skylar Bush’s essay won. Bush read her winning essay at the program. The students concluded the graduation with a cupcake reception.

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