Friday, March 4th was a very special day for the 5th Grade students at Sunny Isles Beach Community School. The students graduated from a 10-week Drug Abuse Resistance Education – D.A.R.E. – program taught by SIB Police Officer Patty Gonzalez. Mayor Norman S. Edelcup, Vice Mayor Lew Thaler, Commissioner Jeanette Gatto and Commissioner Isaac Aelion all beamed with pride as they listened to Dr. Annette Weissman, Principal, welcome parents, students and guests to the graduation.
Before the students received their certificates, they listened to very important messages from the dignitaries in attendance. Dr. Weissman reminded the students that the D.A.R.E. program taught them the importance of making wise choices and the consequences of making poor decisions. Chief Maas of the SIB Police Department challenged the students to think about the history of D.A.R.E. and the impact it has had on students since it was created in 1983. In his keynote address, Captain Grandinetti told the students that during the next few years, they would have to make major decisions as they dealt with peer pressure, societal temptations and school stress. But he assured them that they had the tools to make the right choices and he was certain they would implement the lessons learned in the D.A.R.E. classes and bring honor to their families, their school, and themselves.
A highlight of the morning was the recitation of the D.A.R.E. pledge led by Officer Gonzalez. In front of the parents, teachers, and guests, the students reaffirmed their commitment to a drug free life and their ability to help others say “No” to drugs and alcohol. It was a powerful moment filled with hope for the future.