The D.A.R.E. program teaches kids good decision-making skills to help them lead safe and responsible lives. It is no longer just about "Just say no!" to drugs. In the program, we talk about the health effects of using drugs, alcohol and tobacco. We teach the students how to effectively communicate their thoughts and the different communication styles, including role play and scenario-based situations. The students learn about stress and how 5th graders can effectively deal with both stress and peer pressure. Lessons also include how to stop bullying and how we are all effected by bullying.
Over the past four years, the schools have expressed interest in us continuing the program. Both teachers and children love having the Deputies come into their classrooms for 45 minutes each week to give instruction and lessons. The uniformed officer in the classroom not only allows children to see that we are approachable in the classroom, but also in the communities we police.
At the end of the year we have each student write an essay about what they learned in class and how they're going to use what they've learned in everyday life so they can make good decisions and responsible choices. The essays are collected and read by the teacher and D.A.R.E. instructor. During the D.A.R.E. graduation picnic, the winners are announced and the awards are handed out. Each and every student who participated is awarded a certificate.
Below are some photos from this year's picnic.