Falklands : Falklands Students DARE to Say NO to Drugs
Submitted by Falkland Islands News Network (Juanita Brock) 18.07.2003 (Article Archived on 01.08.2003)
Photo (c) J. Brock (FINN) Students from Year 6 at Stanley Infant/Junior School pose with their certificates after successfully completing the 2003 DARE Programme.
FALKLANDS KIDS DARE YOU TO SAY NO TO DRUGS, ALCOHOL AND VIOLENCE
By J. Brock (FINN)
For the past six months, students in Year 6 of the infant/Junior School in Stanley have been taking an extra class each Thursday in order to become aware of the dangers of drugs, alcohol, cigarettes and violence. On Thursday evening at 1730, they held their graduation ceremony for the D.A.R.E. Programme and all received certificates that were presented by H. E. the Governor Mr. Howard Pearce. The Hall was packed with family and friends of the graduates.
Students made posters to bring home the fact that you can say NO to drugs and alcohol.
The programme began with words of welcome and an introduction by. Sgt. Dave Roberts of the Royal Falkland Islands Police. he explained how First Secretary, Russ Jarvis of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office helped to provide funding for the programme. He then went on to present Mr. Norman Clark, the official photographer, with a complementary tee shirt.
Following Sgt. Roberts' introduction, Infant/Junior School Head Teacher, Mr. John Farrow, said a few words.
"I never fail to be impressed by Dave's unfailing, unflagging enthusiasm. I think the D.A.R.E. Programme encapsulates a lot more than just alcohol, drugs and violence. It has a lot more scope. And, I think, as Dave mentioned earlier about choices, that's what life is all about. The more right choices we make, the better our lives are. The more wrong choices we make, the worse our lives become.
I think Dave, with his input into school, which has been slightly curtailed this year for obvious reasons, is an invaluable input to all the kids who are in Year 6, to ensure that they do make the right choices about everything in life. The more experience you have about developing the ability to make the right choices, to think about it helps you to make the right decision.
I heard of a Head Teacher several years ago who advised everyone to count to 10 - basically, to think about it. And, that's all part of this process here. Instead of making an instant decision, perhaps you should think about it, weigh it up and decide whether it's the right thing for you.
People's response to Dave is enthusiasm for the really exciting time they had. It's exciting and it's enjoyable but it's also quite serious. And, I think that it bodes well for the future of these Islands if we do have people who do make the right choices - people who do have the ability to make the right decisions, not just for themselves but for other people as well."
This was followed by role-play entitled "Ways to Say No."
Year Six students acting out how they say NO and really mean it.
Children than shared their experiences. Brief essays were read out by Andrea Sylvester-Peters, Dan Cofre,Pamela D'Avino, Marc Courtney, Jane Clarke, Zoe Whitney and Julian Barton. Andrea Sylvester-Peters said the following:
Angela Sylvester-Peters tells the audience why she personally found the DARE Programme a success.
"I found D.A.R.E a very interesting topic. I heard some difficult words but by listening, I understood those words. I feel more confident and I know I would rather take D.A.R.E. The most important part of the subject was the role-play.
In the programme, I learned to stand up for myself when I am asked to take drugs, or be involved in violence. I found out a number of things about different types of drugs and I came across a new way, if I ever had stress, I would always know the way to deal with it.
The way Sgt. Roberts taught us made it more interesting. I have learned that everybody in school needs to think for themselves and not to be bullied into doing things they don't want to do. If I took drugs, I know that I would not have a happy life and I will not have any success and perhaps become involved in violence. I think D.A.R.E. is a very helpful subject for people. Also, it is an excellent subject for people of all ages.
During the weeks of the D.A.R.E. programme, I didn't get bored. I hope that the D.A.R.E. Programme continues for many years to come."
Next, H.E. the Governor, Mr. Howard Pearce handed out certificated to the following Year 6 students:
MRS. JUDD'S CLASS: Julian Barton, Danny Cofre, Pamela D'Avino, Mikaela Ford, Robert George, Bethan Halliday, Jessica harte, Verity Livermore, Samantha McCormack, Bono McKay, Andrea Sylvester-Peters, Marcus Pole-Evans, Charlotte Rich, Aidan Smith,Craig Thain, and Elliot Vincent.
Ribert George receives his DARE Certificate from Gov. Pearce.
MRS. SHORT'S CLASS: Harley Berntsen, Tansie Bonner, Joanne Butler, Danielle Caswell, Jane Clarke, Victoria Collier, Marc Courtney, Tom Elsby, Kelly Fiddes, Adam Henry, Toni Jacobsen, Shanice McCallum, David Philips, Drew Robertson, Kaylee Smith, Eva Valasquez, Dominic Watson, Zoe Whitney, and Terrance Browning.
H.E. the Governor, Mr. Howard Pearce, made the following remarks prior to handing out the certificates:
"Thank-you, Sgt. Roberts. This is the first occasion that I have had to be presenting certificates, I look forward to being here again in future years.
I would like to say a word of congratulations, first of all to Dave Roberts, whose enthusiasm for this programme I have already heard about, not least from Dave himself. It is something to which he is very deeply committed and to which he brings a great deal of energy and enthusiasm.
But I also would like to especially congratulate all of you, who have participated in this programme. It's not easy to come out here, stand in front of a lot of people and to play a role or to say a few words. And, you only gain that confidence through doing it and through a lot of practice. But I can see from the way you all came and did that very successfully, that through your own participation in this programme, you have already learned a lot of confidence of your own. And, that's tremendous.
Congratulations to all of you who had the courage to come out here in front of this large audience. As your Head Master said, what this programme is about is the misuse of drugs, alcohol, smoking and so on. But, as importantly, it's about learning how to make choices, learning how to resist pressure and, as you get older and get on in life, the pressures become stronger rather than less, and gaining a good deal of personal confidence so that you can take the right direction in life.
And, I hope that is something that not only you have been listening to but also that your parents have been listening to as well. Those of you in the audience, who are parents, and have responsibility for your children, I hope that maybe, through this programme, maybe they will be challenging you about many of these issues as well. I think that you will encourage and support your children, who have been through this programme, and not to forget about the lessons which they have learned. And, these things will stay with you as the years go by.
I very much enjoyed your role-plays, your presentations. You have obviously enjoyed this whole programme. I wish I could come and take part myself. All the best to you and my congratulations."
Seeing that it was Russ Jarvis, last time to be at a D.A.R.E. graduation and given his instrumental role in the programme's funding, he was awarded a certificate by H.E. the Governor Mr. Pearce.
Russ Jarvis was awarded his own graduation certificate by Gov. Pearce.
After the presentations, a group photograph was taken by Mr. Norman Clark and refreshments were served to all those who attended the graduation. Thanks goes to Argos Fishing Company Limited for the Argos Award and to D.A.R.E. in the UK for their support. Also to be recognised is the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for the funding of the programme, the Stanley Infant/Junior School for continuing support - and the students, Falkland Printz for the Official Photos, Shorty's Diner, for the Graduation meal, The Royal Falkland Islands Police, for Dave Roberts, the Government Printing Office for the production of the very colourful programmes and to June Besley-Clark for organising the refreshments.
And finally ...