MOUNT PLEASANT, N.Y. Seventeen fourth and fifth graders graduated Wednesday from the Mount Pleasant-Blythedale Schools first-ever DARE class.
The DARE Program, led by the Mount Pleasant Police Department, aims to keep kids away from the dangers of drugs and violence. It was the first time the program was held at Mount Pleasant-Blythedale, which is located in the Blythedale Children's Hospital.
Emily Hersh, principal of Mount Pleasant-Blythedale, said she could see the impact the program had on the students.
"They have really responded well to what the officers have taught them, especially the role playing situations that they were put into," Hersh said. "And you can see the relationships they have built with the officers,"
The program was run by Officer Lauren Valentino and Det. Marty Greenberg. The officers met with the students 11 times over the course of six weeks and taught them the dangers of drugs and violence, how to avoid them and how the police department works to combat these issues.
At the graduation, each student received a certificate for their completion and gave a pledge to stay drug free.
The Mount Pleasant-Blythedale School is a school for children and adolescents with special needs. The children receive a temporary education while receiving treatment at the children's hospital. The school brings in students from not only all over Westchester, but also Rockland County and New York City. It is the only school in the State of New York designed to educate a hospital population.
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