Bucyrus hosts D.A.R.E. graduation ceremony for sixth grade students
weather gives way to the annual graduation season for high school
seniors. But it also a time for another kind of graduation ceremony that
focuses on younger students making a commitment to staying drug and
alcohol free and making good choices. Bucyrus sixth grade students
graduated from the D.A.R.E. program during a special ceremony May 6.
This is the first class of D.A.R.E. graduates since the program left
the Bucyrus City School District several years ago, and Crawford County
Sheriff's Deputy Christopher Martin was very pleased with the program’s
success in its first year back in Bucyrus.
"The teachers and district administrators welcomed me with open
arms," Deputy Martin said. "I can not say enough good things about the
Bucyrus students. By the end of the year, it was like I had been working
with them since kindergarten."
During the course of the program, Deputy Martin asked the students to
write essays focused on the theme of "What D.A.R.E. means to me." The
winners of the contest included Samuel Rager, Caleigh Rister, Jericka
Stephens and Callie Reynolds. These students read their winning essays
aloud during the graduation ceremony.
"The essays are judged by a volunteer who reads over them and selects
the winners based the time, effort and feeling the student put in to
their work," Deputy Martin said. "The judge is sometimes a D.A.R.E.
graduate of years past and sometimes from another county."
The D.A.R.E. program gives students the opportunity to meet and
interact with local law enforcement officers while they are still in the
formative stages of their lives. Working with students at this age
gives Deputy Martin the opportunity to show students a side of law
enforcement they don’t normally see.
"I think it is important that a Deputy can go into a classroom and
instruct students on everything from safety to knowing the dangers of
drugs and making good choices," Deputy Martin said. "We want them to
know that officers care and we are not out there to just arrest someone
or write someone a ticket."
The Crawford County D.A.R.E. program is completing its 25th year, and
serves approximately 3,000 students from eight different schools in
Crawford County. The program is supported by Crawford County Sheriff
Scott Kent, and receives a small grant from the Ohio Attorney General's
"This program would not be possible without the financial support of
local organizations and private donors, who help purchase materials for
classroom instruction and graduation," Deputy Martin said. "Our goal is
to raise additional funding for the program through our annual car show
at Carl’s Auto Sales in Bucyrus June 27."
"I want to personally thank Sheriff Kent and Deputy Martin for their
willingness to bring the D.A.R.E. program back to the Bucyrus City
School District," Bucyrus Superintendent Kevin Kimmel said. "It was an
outstanding graduation ceremony, and my hope is our students will carry
the lessons learned in the D.A.R.E. program with them the rest of their
To learn more about the Crawford County D.A.R.E. program, please
contact Crawford County Sheriff’s Deputy Christopher Martin at the
Crawford County Sheriff’s Office at 419-562-7906.