HANCOCK COUNTY — Close to 1,000 students graduated from the Hancock County Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program recently and celebrated at Greenfield-Central High School.

After a 10-week program geared toward teaching students good decision-making skills and helping children lead safe and responsible lives, the D.A.R.E. program graduated 985 fifth- and sixth-grade students from across the county.

Hancock County Sheriff Department D.A.R.E. officer Christine Rapp said students were required to keep a workbook and create a final project before they could graduate and earn their invitation to the celebration.

The celebration included an anti-bullying presentation, demonstrations from local fire and police departments, as well as a tug-of-war competition.

“This program absolutely makes a difference,” Rapp said. “Not only are we teaching students about how to make good decisions; we’re also creating relationships between children and local officers.”