Eighty-four Moulton Middle School 5th graders graduated from the D.A.R.E. program last Tuesday with family witnessing the event.
Moulton was one of five schools holding graduations during the past few days.
The local D.A.R.E. program is a 12-week course by the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department teaching 4th, 5th, and 6th graders how to make good decisions and to deter them from drugs, cigarettes, and alcohol.
Essay winners were Abbie Kennell, Kade Kull, Kami Mathis, Dalton Hoadley, Mikayla Boehm, Skylar Gordon, Alana Dove and Garrett Wade. Each read their essays before the crowd.
Effingham County resident Judge Kimberly Koester was guest speaker at the event. She spoke on the consequences on drug and alcohol abuse from personal and legal situations. She added how disappointed she whenever a former D.A.R.E. student appears in her courtroom on drug and/or alcohol charges.
High School role models for the class were introduced. They include: Mikayla Fultz, Anne Jesgarz, Kayla Lee, Sabrina Milligan, Maitri Patel, and Megan Overbeck. They presented a skit for the students.
Other special guests in attendance were court officer Rick Hoadley, Shelbyville Police Sergeant Paul Bennett, and Sheriff Michael Miller.
Other county schools holding D.A.R.E graduations were Central A&M on December 13, Herrick and MAPS on December 16, Cowden on December 18, and Okaw Valley on December 19.