Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Columns

February 25, 2013

Tammie Hetzer-Womack: Just say yes (to help): 02/25/13

ASHLAND — I was downtown New Year’s Eve covering pre-ball-drop festivities. I heard someone holler at me halfway through the Winchester Avenue crosswalk.

“Miss Tammie!”

This happens now and again. The kind individual flagging me down is an adult — too old to call me that — but still courteous and considerate.

For two years I was a volunteer assistant beside Ashland police, helping teach the DARE message in city elementaries. I treasure memories of Friday afternoons at now-closed Hatcher Elementary; value how now-retired patrolman Terry Clark cared for students.

He taught character, uprightness, decorum and power of restraint. He was soft-spoken, but his assertion to stay out of trouble was heard loud and clear.

Although it makes me feel pretty old, I happen upon children who somehow turned into grownups. They never fail to stop and share thanks. We usually chat about where they’re working or attending college. Some have their own children.

Nowadays, expert Officer Rob Simpson is at the DARE helm and is making a sound impression on youngsters. In a region burdened with drug abuse, he has a strong handle on the magnitude of his job.

If his straightforward words sway a class to simply never start using dope, we’re all better for it. In a few years perhaps we’ll see positive end products of Simpson’s efforts.

From personal familiarity with DARE, I have faith. I asked others touched by the curriculum how they feel, as DARE Day and graduation nears. Pam Hall teaches sixth grade at Charles Russell Elementary School.

“This program is wonderful in teaching our students about the harmful effects of drugs, and about making good choices in life. Students benefit tremendously from the information taught,” she said. “They’re so engaged with the skits and the games. The life skills they are learning come easy and are remembered long after class is over.

“It’s a great way to open up lines of communication between children and adults,” she said, adding the program builds a positive relationship with local police.

“I love DARE. It’s an awesome program because Officer Simpson shares with us the dangers of drugs. He makes the lessons fun,” reiterates Harlea Blevins, 12, of Ashland.

In a day and time when “yes” is said by parents too much, these smart kids are ready to say no. A declaration is quick from their lips.

“DARE taught me about the importance of saying, ‘No,’” said Maddy Greene, 11, of Ashland. “I learned that saying this small word can literally save your life.”

Ashland’s Hunter Mays chimed in thoughtfully.

“DARE was a good learning experience. I learned about drugs and alcohol and what they can do to your body. Now, if anybody asks me to do any harmful things, I can ‘Just Say No!’” emphasized the 11-year-old young man.

Simpson’s apprentices are ahead of their time. Take Brianna Lambert.

“DARE really persuaded me to go through life without touching any drugs,” said the 11-year-old Ashlander, popping into rhyme. “I don’t want to ever touch drugs. The choice is ours to make, but we need to remember that our dreams are at stake.”

Her classmate Braedon Ward, 12, adds to the moral.

“DARE is a great program to learn about what drugs do to your body. The more you know, the better you can resist when someone wants you to take drugs,” he said.

I ask your help. DARE is close to my heart — and I want these optimistic preteens to experience an unforgettable program graduation at GattiLand at the Midtown Shopping Center in early May.

To offer help, call DARE Officer Rob Simpson at (606) 327-2071.

1
Text Only
Columns
  • Mark Maynard: Let’s just forget about it: 04/17/14

    The older I get, the more forgetful I become. Does that sound familiar?

    April 16, 2014

  • Uncovering forgotten treasures

    You know the big difference between me and a hoarder? I mean, except that you can walk through my house and there are none of the disgusting aspects of hoarding in my life.
     

    April 14, 2014

  • Political stories worth retelling

    With Kentucky in the midst of the political season, it’s time to share some stories I’ve heard about the art of politicking.
     

    April 13, 2014

  • 0413timbizcolweb.jpg Tim Preston: Great salmon; finding Dr. Amy; and more Maria: 4/13/14

    It isn’t an especially convenient location unless you happen to be going that way, and if you don’t get there within the next couple of weeks you’ll have to wait until fall to try it out, but I had the best lunch I can remember last week at one of the last places you’d likely think of when pondering where to eat.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Restaurant horror stories; garden planning tips

    In my couponing classes, I always had fun with everyone by telling them gross restaurant stories. In encouraging them to eat at home more and save their money, I was also teaching them how much cleaner it is.
     

    April 12, 2014

  • Feeling happy is ...

    Anyone hoping the Ashland-Huntington area will soon overtake Disney World as “the happiest place on Earth” will be waiting awhile.
     

    April 10, 2014

  • 0410markcol.jpg Mark Maynard: Brick House (South Ashland Florist) brings in $13K so far: 04/10/14

    Here’s a 14-name salute coming your way:

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • John Cannon: Take this joint, please: 04/09/14

    Some of the things that occurred during our recent week in Jamaica were unexpected and even a bit weird. I suspect those will be the things we will still clearly remember long after the memories of the hours of lying on the beach have faded. I started to mention them in last week’s column, but opted to save them until a later date in the interest of length.

    April 8, 2014

  • AARON SNYDER: March Madness, sadness for Cats

    It’s just another game. That’s the message John Calipari preached profusely throughout the 2014 NCAA tournament. It’s typical coachspeak, but Cal’s young Kentucky team clung to the step-by-step approach to produce atypical results.

    April 8, 2014

  • Sweet thoughts on the season

    So far, I’ve been a good girl. Or a pretty good girl anyway. See, I have this thing for Reese’s peanut butter eggs. Homemade peanut butter eggs? Eh. I can take ‘em or leave ‘em.
     

    April 7, 2014

Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
SEC Zone