butler first step friendship and unity at sunset

Butler County’s D.A.R.E. Keepin’ It Real Grads

DARE grads

The Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) Keepin’ It REAL Program teaches students how to stay away from drugs by preparing them to act decisively, confidently and comfortably in a difficult situation.  Students are taught how to say “no” by learning practical drug resistance strategies that are easy to remember and use.

For the 2015-16 school year, the (3) Butler County Sheriff’s Officers, Sergeant Harry Callithen, Deputy Darah Danner and Deputy Tiffani Schaffer, conducted the program in 64 classrooms in 15 Butler County schools, educating 1,290 fifth grade students on how to recognize risk, value their perceptions and feelings, and make choices that support those values. This year, more than 600 parents, grandparents, step-parents and guardians were proud to watch their fifth grader graduate from the D.A.R.E. Keepin’ It REAL program.

The attached photo was from the May 6, 2016 graduation at Moraine Elementary School. Sgt. Callithen presented awards to 85 fifth grade students for successfully completing the D.A.R.E. Keepin’ It REAL program.  Special guests at the ceremony included Captain Brian Karenbauer of the Butler County Sheriff’s Office; Butler County Commissioners Leslie Osche, Kim Geyer and Kevin Boozel; Butler County District Attorney Richard Goldinger; Pennsylvania State Representative Tedd C. Nesbit, and Neil Convey from the office of Pennsylvania State Representative Brian L. Ellis; and Beth Ehrenfried-Neveux from the Butler County Drug & Alcohol Program.  Students celebrated their graduation with a special song, “I will DARE,” and were congratulated by the principal of Moraine Elementary School, Dr. Kristie Shulsky.  This event was made possible by local sponsors Family Bowlaway Fun Center, Fun Fore All, Playthings, Etc., Pennies Bake Shop & Espresso Bar, and Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt.