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darekidsOctober 24--  Students at Sally Meadows Elementary School stepped off Tuesday morning in the annual Red Ribbon Week parade supporting the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program at the school conducted by the Vidalia Police Department.

Police Corporal Dwayne Carpenter holds drug and alcohol education classes for the school's fifth graders and is assisted by a corps of DARE role models who are seniors at Vidalia High School including Indian Cheerleader Courtney Shokoh-alai, "It means I'm a leader for all these kids around me and I do my best to be sure I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing.  I don't do drugs or anything like that and I talk with them just to be sure they stay on the right path."

darecheersAnother cheerleader role model is Bekkah Wheeler who remembers how the DARE program influenced her when she was in the fifth grade, "I believe it really taught me about drugs, what they do and how to stay drug free and keep a healthy life style," she said.

(L-R) Courtney and Bekkah

Bekkah also believes DARE has helped her overcome peer pressure to use drugs, "When you get to high school, everybody thinks it's all cool.  You just have to keep your faith in God and know that you've got to do the right thing because you'll be better off in the end."