La Crosse, WI (WXOW) – Two D.A.R.E. graduates from the area have won a first and second place in D.A.R.E. Wisconsin’s essay contest.
Lilly Ackerman, of Southern Bluffs Elementary in La Crosse, and Lydia Hogue, of St. Patrick’s Elementary in Onalaska, initially tied for first place in the contest.
After a narrow vote by the D.A.R.E. board of directors, Ackerman’s essay won first place.
The essays focus on ways they apply D.A.R.E. lessons in their life, and what D.A.R.E. has taught them. Topics such as drug’s negative effect on the body, and tips for making good decisions in every aspect of life.
Officer Kurt Weaver of the La Crosse Police Department sent Ackerman’s winning essay into the competition.
“She talks a lot about how she used what she learned in class, in real life situations. I think that’s what put her over the top, she showed actual applications of the dare lessons in real life, and she talks about that in her essay.”
D.A.R.E. provides students with more than just drug abuse education, with the topic of decision making a regular classroom topic.
“The big thing that Lilly wrote about, and the focus of every single lesson, is decision making. If you make good choices you will live a better life, makes sense.” Weaver describes.
To assist students with learning about decision making, the program developed a model to use in their daily lives.
“We have what is called the decision-making model where the students can go through and solve problems with this model. Talking about it, thinking it over, what are the good choices and the bad things that can happen with each choice,” explains Weaver.
Both the first and second place essays will be featured on the Wisconsin D.A.R.E. website.
What does DARE mean to you? Does it mean stay away from drugs, don't do it, walk away, or does it give you guidelines to lead a healthy life?
When I think of DARE, I look at all of my dreams and wishes for the rest of my life. They can be destroyed by: tobacco, cigarettes, alcohol, and marijuana, but not only by drugs but also by peer pressure. Today I am going to tell you about cigarettes, their consequences, and their effects.
First let me tell you about the effects and what is in cigarettes. Did you know that there are over 4,000 known poisons and chemicals in one single cigarette? Some examples are: carbon monoxide, lead, formaldehyde, tar, rat poison, and nicotine, witch causes the addiction. All of those poisons kill over 400,000 people every year, and even if you don't smoke you can be harmed by it. Over 3,000 non-smokers die each year because of second hand smoke. Second hand smoke is when you breathe smoke from someone around you that is smoking. First hand smoke is when you are the one smoking and you inhale. One thing I have learned with DARE is that smoking can cause breathing problems, it will dry out your skin so it will give you wrinkles, and you will have yellow teeth and bad breath. Ewe, yuck, that is gross. Anyways it can also cause dizziness and shortness of breath. You can get emphysema from smoking, and if you smoke you have a greater chance of getting cancer, heart disease, you would have more colds, and probably have upper respiratory problems.
Did you know that there are certain consequences for smoking? If you are not at least 18 years old and you get caught smoking, you will either (1) have the police give you a ticket and bring you to court or (2) you would be grounded for life. At least I know I would be. I definitely don't want to get in trouble with my parents or the law. I don't think that anyone would want to either.
I think I picked a pretty good topic for my essay, don’t you think? Anyways, in these past eight weeks with DARE and Deputy Rieder, I have learned so much. The topics that I have learned in the lessons with DARE will help me through the rest of my life to make good choices. Now I know that every person and everything can change my life forever.
DARE Essay Index