Thursday, June 3rd, marked the 17th Annual D.A.R.E. Fifth Grade graduation which took place at Summit High School. Present at this year's graduation ceremony was Robert McKenna, President of D.A.R.E. New Jersey, who presented Summit Mayor Jordan Glatt with one of the organization's most prestigious awards, the "Mayor of the Year" award. Mr. McKenna's speech pointed to the past success of the D.A.R.E. program in reducing the use of hard drugs such as heroin and crack-cocaine and noted that the curriculum has been expanded to include the dangers of bullying, cybersex and most importantly over-the-counter drugs.
Mr. McKenna praised New Jersey's D.A.R.E. program as the largest and most successful in the country, due largely to the dedication of the D.A.R.E. police officers and the positive relationships they have fostered with the children they teach. In presenting the award to Mayor Glatt, Mr. McKenna highlighted the Mayor's dedication to protecting the community's children and supporting youth initiatives.
Summit's D.A.R.E. program is administered by the Summit Police Department through the Board of Education's Health curriculum, and is sponsored by the Police Athletic League. The Police Department currently provides D.A.R.E. instruction to all public school students in the fifth, seventh and tenth grades. This year's fifth grade graduating class was the largest ever, with 360 students receiving their D.A.R.E. certificates.