DARE to Make a Difference

By: George McDonald
By: George McDonald

A special graduation was held Monday at Oakland Heights Elementary
School.

Th fifth graders have successfully completed the D.A.R.E. program,
Drug Abuse Resistance Education.

The international program carries an anti-drug, anti-violence message to school children.

"The program starts in kindergarten. They also have a class in the 2nd grade. They have a class in the 4th grade and finally they graduate in the 5th grade," said DARE instructor, Officer Lee Vester Wilson, of the Meridian Police Department. "They actually receive a diploma."

Maj. Ward Calhoun of the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department was the guest speaker for the ceremonies.

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What is D.A.R.E.?

  • The D.A.R.E. program has three main goals:
    • 1) D.A.R.E. seeks to provide students with a knowledge base on the effects of drug abuse that go beyond the physical ramifications and extend to emotional, social, and economic aspects of life.

    • 2) D.A.R.E. aims to build decision-making and problem solving skills and strategies to help students make informed decisions and resist drug use, peer pressure, and violence.

    • 3) An integral part of the D.A.R.E. program is to provide students with alternatives to drug use.

  • D.A.R.E. is a universal program designed to reach the general population, rather than "at risk" groups.

  • It is most often implemented in the fifth and sixth grades.

  • The curriculum focuses on knowledge and skill development in seven areas:
    • 1) cognitive information
    • 2) recognizing pressures
    • 3) refusal skills
    • 4) consequential thinking and risk taking
    • 5) interpersonal and communication skills
    • 6) decision making
    • 7) positive alternatives

  • D.A.R.E. is instinctive in its approach in that specially trained, uniformed police officers conduct the lessons in the classroom.

  • While officers actually conduct the D.A.R.E. lessons, a licensed teacher is required to be present in the classroom. That teacher is expected to reinforce the D.A.R.E. material by integrating its objectives into the general curriculum for the particular grade level.

  • The lessons provide factual information about drugs, with an emphasis on gateway drugs (marijuana, alcohol, and tobacco), and teach refusal skills through role-playing and other techniques.

    For more information visit our source:Overview of the D.A.R.E. Program


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