Oswego honors inaugural D.A.R.E. classes

Oswego Middle School student Amaya Chetney receives her D.A.R.E diploma from Oswego Police Department Officer Thomas Grover. This week marked the end of the first 10-week D.A.R.E. curriculum, recently reintroduced into the Oswego City School District. The program focuses on teaching students to make good decisions in all aspects of their lives and how to respond to challenging situations like bullying, peer pressure and substance abuse.The Oswego City School District is celebrating hundreds of students who have taken the challenge to live drug-free lives and make good decisions in school and at home as the recently-reintroduced D.A.R.E. program held its graduation ceremonies this week.
Students in elementary through middle school who completed the 10-week D.A.R.E. curriculum were presented with diplomas by members of the City of Oswego Police and Fire Departments and school officials at graduation events throughout the district between Dec. 18 and Dec. 22.
OPD Officer Thomas Grover teaches the D.A.R.E. program in classes throughout the district and said while he and his students “had a lot of fun this year,” he was optimistic about the staying power of the lessons he had shared with students about drugs, violence, bullying, internet safety and other challenging, high-risk circumstances.
“We want to put tools in their toolbelt to use throughout their lives,” said Grover. “And it’s not just drugs and alcohol – we also teach them about making good decisions when it comes to, say, choosing between doing your homework or playing a video game.”
The D.A.R.E. curriculum was reintroduced into the Oswego City School District at the beginning of the fall 2017 marking period. School and OPD officials said the program was effective beyond its well-known message of addressing substance abuse.
“Officer Grover’s presence really makes students comfortable and show them that law enforcement officers are here to help and are here for guidance,” said Oswego Middle School Principal Mary Beth Fierro. OMS saw 135 of its students graduate from D.A.R.E. this week.