Sixth grade students in my county participate in a program called D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education). D.A.R.E. was founded in Los Angeles in 1983. It is now being taught in 75% of today’s school districts and in 43 countries. D.A.R.E does not have to be taught just to sixth grade students. The D.A.R.E. program can take place in any grade kindergarten through twelfth.
The program is lead by specially trained officers and teaches children about dealing with peer pressure and drugs. Officers must complete 80 hours of training to teach elementary and middle school D.A.R.E. programs. The officers are not only educated about drugs and drug prevention, but also in areas such as child development, classroom management, and communication. An officer must take an additional 40 hours of training to teach a high school D.A.R.E. course.
D.A.R.E. teaches children more than the dangers and side effects of drugs. It also teaches children how to resist peer pressure and gives them effective techniques to say “No!” D.A.R.E. encourages self-respect and teaches children how to take care of themselves both physically and mentally. D.A.R.E. allows students to build a relationship with a police officer. The officer is a positive role model and gives the children a feeling of connection between policemen and themselves.
The officers use role-play, stories, and other creative ways to inform students about drugs and their dangers. Since the beginning, the D.A.R.E. program has expanded and improved. Each year, it strives to create better lessons and connections with the children.
The students in my county enjoy D.A.R.E. At the end of the program, students wear D.A.R.E shirts and participate in a graduation ceremony and an essay contest. Students are recognized for their hard work and accomplishments. All of the students at my school, even the ones not involved in the program, are excited to see the D.A.R.E. officer when he comes to school. I think that the D.A.R.E. program is an excellent way for the community to work together to create a healthy and productive future.