Four Estherville Lincoln Central fifth-grade classes Monday pledged not to use alcohol or drugs, to smoke cigarettes or to bully - a promise their teachers hope they'll keep for years to come.
It was all part of the newly revamped Drug Abuse Resistance Education program. led for the fifth, straight year by Estherville Police Department officer Nate Dunlavy who was assisted in Monday's presentation by Matt Reineke and K-9 officer Max II along with police chief Eric Milburn.
"It's something I believe in, our department believes in and our school's been a hundred percent behind it,"
The Estherville Lincoln Central D.A.R.E. graduation class of 2013.
EDN photo by Michael Tidemann
Dunlavy said to an enthusiastic group of fifth-graders. This was Dunlavy's fifth year as D.A.R.E. instructor.
Dunlavy noted the added emphasis on bullying which he called "a huge addition to our program this year."
"You guys have an amazing group of fifth-graders," Dunlavy told parents and teachers, noting the profound questions that the student had about the passing of Staff Sgt. Steve Blass during their D.A.R.E. class.
"They asked some questions that I was absolutely blown away,"
Dunlavy said. "I take away something from each and every class. This is one of my favorite parts of the whole year."
"We're very proud of you and your accomplishments," said principal Deb Lenertz, encouraging the fifth-graders to participate in the Strengthening Families program in sixth grade.
Dunlavy called the students' essays "probably the best set of essays I've had so far."
Essay winners were Madi Burton, Riley Shryock, Jayden Moore and Cecelia Hansen.