Displayed here are some of the Self-Esteem License Plate messages created by 5th grade students. Submitted photo


MEXICO — A couple weeks following a Drug Abuse Resistance Education culmination celebration was held for 6th graders, one for 78 5th graders took place on May 25 at the Mountain Valley Middle School.
The 35th DARE event, sponsored by the Rumford Police Department, was shown lived on Facebook because the public could not attend due to the pandemic.
Despite not being able to hold these culminations since 2019 due to the pandemic, Instructor Doug Maifeld, in his 28th year, said he worked it out so that he has been missed a class taking this 16-week DARE program.
Maifeld talked to the students about bullying and self-esteem, two subjects that students wrote about in their Taking A Stand essays.
Winners of these essays were Addison Tidswell, Destiney Blouin, Hailey Parker, Nevaha Burns and
Rhodri Farrington.
Addison Tidswell wrote about confidence, which is “a great skill to have but most people don’t, which it totally fine.”
Confidence is quite hard to have because you might be shy or just don’t like talking in front of people but that’s not just what confidence is. Confidence could also mean being confident in the way you look or being confident in your work and even being confident in yourself.
She said in DARE, they learned quite a bit about confidence. “One lesson we learned about bullying and to stand up to the bully you need to have confidence…Having confidence is great because it can allow you to feel good about yourself. With everything I’ve learned about confidence, I’m gonna use some skills and try to be more confident and I hope you do, too.”
Destiny Blouin wrote about bullying, noting, “It is so wrong that we live in a world where if someone looks different that we do, we will make fun of them. It should not matter what someone looks like. They are human, just like you. Treat others the way to want to be treated…I learned to stand up and not be a bystander and to go and stick up for the person who is getting bullied.”
Hailey Parker wrote about the violence is anything aggressive, even vandalism.
“Ways to prevent violence is to think how it will affect the people around you and what they have recently gone through. Another way is to not get overwhelmed. If you get overwhelmed, you have a higher chance of getting angry very quickly.”
Nevaha Burns wrote what she learned about cyber bullying. “People can sometimes get so mad because of bullying that they could blow up and yell or hurt people around them. Please do not bully. I know you get made at people sometimes and that’s okay because everyone does and you may have hard times, but please do not take it out on everyone around you because thet will make matters worse.”
Rhodri Farrington wrote that “One thing I really liked about DARE was that Officer Maifeld always made class fun. He never made it feel like work. It always felt like we were playing a game…You are the best teacher ever.”
Students who were winners of the Self-Esteem License Plate messages were Jordyn Whitaker, Alexis Needham, Sophia Thibodeau, Aiden Litalien, Jaelynn Gordon and Xander Hatherley.
After participating in the new curriculum, students will be able to:
* Exercise self-control, particularly when under stress and pressure. It will teach them to control their emotions, avoid impulsive behavior and think critically about their experiences in order to plan a drug-free life.
* Identify the risk and consequences of their choices. The curriculum prepares them for the rapid changes and challenges they are about to face, including the increasing presence of drugs in their lives, by teaching them to evaluate the risks and consequences of their choices.
* Make safe and responsible decisions. The DARE Decision Making Model continues to be central because youths need to understand how to think clearly and critically about the choices they face and, perhaps more importantly, plan for the ones they are about to face.
* Communicate more confidently and effectively, his developing strong relationships with peers, family and authority figures.
* Become safe and responsible citizens by learning how to help others and know how to get help. Youths of their age cannot do everything alone, so the new curriculum stresses safe and responsible ways to give and get help.

DARE Instructor Doug Maifeld is pictured with students who created the winning Self-Esteem License Plate messages. Submitted photo

DARE Instructor Doug Maifeld is pictured with students who wrote the winning Taking A Stand essays. Submitted photo

DARE Instructor Doug Maifeld is seen with one of the 5th grade classes completing the 16-week course. Submitted photo

This 5th grade class holds up their certificates of achievement for completing the DARE course. Submitted photo

Another happy 5th grade class following the May 25th DARE culmination. Submitted photo

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: