Blind Bossier City 5th grader overcomes odds to graduate from D.A.R.E.

Friday, May 11, 2012 - 2:48pm

A special D.A.R.E. graduation will take place Monday at Plantation Park Elementary in Bossier City.

Montrell Delaney, 5th grader and son of Virginia Delaney of Bossier City, will be able to graduate from the program thanks to the help of a special teacher at his school. Delaney is legally blind, and there was no D.A.R.E. booklet available in Braille he could use. However, Suzanne Wilson, a visually impaired teacher for Delaney, transcribed the 33-page booklet into Braille in order for Delaney to participate and ultimately graduate from the program. Delaney has been a student at Plantation Park since kindergarten and is also taught by Betsy Myers, another visually impaired teacher.

Delaney will join 74 other 5th graders at Plantation Park as they graduate from the D.A.R.E. program under the teaching of D.A.R.E. instructor, Deputy Josh Cagle of the Bossier Sheriff’s Department. The 16-week program consists of teaching students how to avoid drugs, gangs and violence, as well as how to resist peer pressure, avoid bullying and learn to live productive lives.

The graduation ceremony begins at 1 p.m. on Monday. The event will complete ceremonies for nearly 800 students in Bossier Parish graduating from the D.A.R.E. program in seven elementary schools over the past week. More than 31,000 students who have successfully completed the D.A.R.E. program since Bossier Sheriff Larry Deen implemented the program here in 1989.


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