r By Penny Reeves
rIt was a big deal for Santaquin fifth-graders as they graduated from D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) in December. Local officers Russ Woodland and Kris Johnson of the Santaquin Police Department spearheaded the programs at Santaquin Elementary (Woodland), C.S. Lewis Academy (Woodland) and Orchard Hills Elementary (Johnson). Students who entered the program signed a pledge to never use drugs, join gangs or engage in violence. The children attended 10 weeks of instruction that gave them tools to resist peer pressure and negative influences. The graduation ceremonies included music, dance and recognition of the top students. D.A.R.E. is a beneficial educational program involving millions of school children around the world.