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Cheney student wins state D.A.R.E. essay contest

Release Date: Sep 27, 2021

TOPEKA – (September 27, 2021) – A Cheney student has been named the winner of this year’s state D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) essay contest, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said.

Kennedy Eastman, currently a sixth grade student at Cheney Elementary School, was named the winner of the statewide contest, which is coordinated by the Kansas Juvenile Officers Association. The announcement was made in July during the organization’s annual banquet in Lawrence. Eastman last week met with Attorney General Schmidt to discuss her essay. During the past year, Eastman participated in the Cheney Police Department’s D.A.R.E. program, which culminated in writing an essay about the things she learned in the program. Kennedy is the daughter of Denise and Kevin Eastman of Cheney.

“The D.A.R.E. program teaches students valuable life skills,” Schmidt said. “Kennedy’s essay focused on the dangers of nicotine. Her personal story of how smoking has affected her family was especially impactful, and I greatly appreciate Kennedy sharing this message with others.”

The statewide D.A.R.E. program is coordinated by the Attorney General’s Office. More than 100 Kansas communities have D.A.R.E. programs serving students in their areas. For more information on the Kansas D.A.R.E. program, and to read Eastman’s winning essay and view a photo of Eastman, Schmidt and Cheney Police Chief Ken Winter, visit

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News releases issued prior to 2011 are available through an archive hosted by the Kansas State Library.