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CP Solon Robinson fifth-graders graduate DARE

SolRobinsElementary School DARE program essay winners were announced. | Phoprovided

Solon Robinson Elementary School DARE program essay winners were announced. | Photo provided

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Updated: December 23, 2013 12:09PM



CROWN POINT — Parents and grandparents packed the gym at Solon Robinson Elementary School to watch their fifth-graders graduate from the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program. Ninety-two fifth-graders completed the program.

Sergeant Dave Benson of the Crown Point Police Department welcomed attendees. He is the department’s DARE officer. The fifth-graders marched into the gym, and up to their assigned places on the bleachers to the sound of “Pomp and Circumstance.”

The soon-to-be-grads sang “Possibilities,” “I’m Gonna Be,” “Don’t Ever Give Up,” It’s My Journey,” “Drug Free,” and the final song, “I Want to Win in this Drug War.” The conclusion was a left arm raised in salute with the hand in a fist. It is their war on drugs.

After they sang, Benson introduced Mayor Dave Uran, Judge Julie Cantrell, Police Chief Pete Land, Clerk-Treasurer Patti Olson and her chief deputy, Peggy Lurtz.

He also introduced a group of seniors from Crown Point High School who were there as role models for the students at Solon, and, two important guests in the gym, Officer Stanko Gligic and his K-9 partner Radar.

This is the 22nd year that this program has been run by the Crown Point Police Department.

Each year someone in the class wins a new bicycle courtesy of the Crown Point Police Department and the City of Crown Point. The winner of this year’s drawing was Avery Kelliher.

Each classroom had one girl and one boy as winner of the essay contest read their essay. From Liz Ewen’s class: Jenna Milosh and Tyler Kuehl. From Kelly Wool’s class: Kendyl Hill and Robby Ballentine. And from Michelle Rice’s class: Carissa Urra and Matt Hanzel.

Each graduate’s name was announced as they marched up to get their diploma and on the way to the cookies had to stop and shake hands with each of the officials who had come just for them.

Uran told them to keep what they have learned with them as they grow up and choose a career. They might even want to become a police officer or firefighter or maybe even a politician. He wished all a Merry Christmas.

Judge Julie Cantrell told of when she was in fifth-grade and had received a present of a box of 64 crayons. She printed her name on the top of the box, brought it to school and put it in the cupboard.

Art was her last class. When she finally got to the art room she opened the cupboard and there was no box with her name on top. There was, however, one box of 64 crayons that had only been used once and the top flap was torn off.

She went to the teacher and explained what she thought someone had done to her crayons. The teacher said, “What do you want me to do about it?”

The judge said that she had thought that the teacher could at least ask the boy who had used this brand new box of 64 crayons if he had ripped the top off and stole her crayon box. She was shocked when the teacher told her that her parents could afford to buy her another box of 64 crayons. Cantrell said, “My sense of justice was formed that day.”

Years later a defendant was standing before her at the rail in hand-cuffs. She looked up and saw him. It was the boy who years before had stolen her box of crayons. Maybe if that teacher had done something about it he would not be before her now, in hand-cuffs. She told all the students to remember that.

The look on the faces of the 5th graders showed understanding.



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