Two lucky students from Sk’aadgaa Naay elementary school got an aerial tour of Skidegate Inlet aboard the RCMP plane Friday as a prize for writing anti-drug and tobacco essays.
Paula Young and Scott Brock, both 10, wrote the essays as part of the “DARE” program, which Const. Andrew West put on at the school over the past few months.
The program teaches kids about the harmful effects of tobacco, alcohol and drugs, and about strategies for saying no.
In her essay, Paula wrote that she wants to stay away from tobacco, drugs and alcohol because she wants to be a doctor or nurse someday.
“I learned to never do drugs and that tobacco has tar in it and can cause lung, throat, mouth, bladder and kidney cancer,” she wrote. “It can also stop you from breathing and that after you start you will have a hard time quitting because of the nicotine in it, and it is a powerful thing that gets you addicted to it.”
Scott wrote that the DARE program taught him about health effects of harmful substances and different ways to resist peer pressure to try them.
“In DARE I learned many ways to turn down drugs such as humorous example (no thanks – they don’t call it dope for nothing),” he wrote. “There is also changing the subject and repeated refusal.”
He ended his essay with a pledge: “I will not smoke or drink because of what I learned in DARE. Smoking is not worth dying for. I want to keep my brain cells and live long.”
Const. West, who took special training in order to teach the program to the students, said it’s the first time DARE has been offered at Sk’aadgaa Naay. The prize of a seaplane ride for the best student essays is unique, he said.
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