Pubdate: Tue, 01 May 2007
Source: Napa Valley Register (CA)
Copyright: 2007 Lee Enterprises
Author: Marlee Gradias


Dear editor, I had the pleasure of attending my  daughter's D.A.R.E.
graduation ceremony at Alta Heights  Elementary.

First, I wanted to thank everyone who had made it  possible for such a
great program to be available to  our kids. This program not only
teaches the kids about  drug and alcohol awareness, but also about how
to make  good choices in their future and to choose positive
relationships. They also were talked to about gang  activity and how
to say no.

During the ceremony, Office Stornetta talked about how  this is the
last year for the D.A.R.E. program. He has  been doing the program for
19 years. I finally turned  to his wife, who was sitting behind me,
and asked her  if he was retiring. She said he already retired but
came back half time to do the D.A.R.E. program. I asked  who will be
taking over for him and she broke the news  that the D.A.R.E. program
is going to be no longer.

It is a shame that this program is being cut. I think  this is a great
program that helps kids become aware of  what can come up in their
future. Napa County, as we  all know, has its problems with drugs,
alcohol and  gangs. I am sure there are a lot of programs in Napa
County for drugs, alcohol and gangs for teenagers once  they end up in
the juvenile system. Why cut a program  that teaches prevention? Why
are we waiting until we  have to do an intervention?

Marlee Gradias,

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