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      Students graduate from community-supported DARE program

      Sixth graders in Munising are now graduates of the DARE Program. Monday morning, parents and community members joined the 60 sixth graders at Mather Elementary for a graduation ceremony.

      The students have been working with a deputy from the Alger County Sheriff's Department for four months, learning about resisting drugs, alcohol and tobacco, and how to avoid peer pressure and handle bullying. The program also emphasized the dangers of prescription drug abuse since that has become a large issue with teens.

      All of the students wrote an essay about the DARE program, and at Monday's graduation, six winners read what they wrote , including Lilly Gendron.

      "Tobacco smoke is really bad for you," said Gendron. "It has 200 known poisons. Also, marijuana has 50-70 percent more cancer-causing chemicals than tobacco smoke."

      The DARE program has been operating in Alger County for 20 years. The county sheriff's department runs the program at all schools in Alger County. It costs $6,000 to run, and it is fully supported by community donations.