Calvary students complete DARE program

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:48

    WARWICK-They learned that drugs and alcohol can ruin their lives. They learned that cigarettes contain more than 200 poisons. They learned that real friends don't force each other to do things they shouldn't do. They learned they have a true friend in Warwick police Officer Vincent Cossentino. The fifth, sixth, and seventh grade students at Calvary Christian Academy completed the DARE program — Drug Abuse Resistance Education. This is the first time the program has come to Calvary, and the students were grateful for the education as well as getting to know Officer Cossentino. "We hope you have learned and can draw on what you have learned when you are put in those situations," said Melissa Penney, principal of Calvary. "God is always there to help you through it too. Use the wisdom God gives you and the knowledge you have gained here." Cossentino said it was good to see kids who are drug and alcohol free. He said that while the topics they discussed are very serious, they had fun while they learned. "This course is also about building character," he said. "I hope you know you can always call me if you need anything. I am a friend to all of you." Each student wrote an essay on what the DARE program taught them. Seventh-grader Glenn Johnson, sixth-grader Christina Machado and fifth-grade student Kathryn Hancharick were chosen to read their essays aloud. Cossentino and Lt. Tom Maslanka presented the graduates with their DARE certificates and a handshake. But the students walked away with so much more. "If cigarettes, drugs, or alcohol are offered to me I will say no," said Kathryn Hancharick. "I do not want to ruin my body with these poisons. I am so much more important than the need to fit in."