D.A.R.E. to keep kids off drugs.

D.A.R.E. Two officers are assigned to the DARE unit, teaching at twelve elementary schools in Parkersburg each year.

In addition to teaching DARE in the schools, the department has been involved in other community events relating to DARE. During Parkersburg Homecoming, both officers have worked DARE and Neighborhood Watch booths from a camper furnished at no charge from Wolfe Camper Sales, DuPont Road. This allows the department an opportunity to give the public material on drug abuse and the DARE program.

During Homecoming a DARE t-shirt game is also offered to the public. For a 50 cent donation, participants have a chance to win a DARE t-shirt. Several local businesses purchase the t-shirts to be given away in this contest, which usually results in several hundred dollars earned for the DARE Program.

During the school year, two or three DARE dances are held at Jefferson and Franklin elementary schools, generating money for the DARE Program.

Fraternal Order of Eagles presents a youth drug awareness meeting once a year, using a DARE officer as a speaker. They then make a donation to the DARE Program.

The Parkersburg Moose Lodge sponsors a DARE poster/t-shirt contest each semester, which allows students to design their own t-shirts from the winning posters. The top three design winners attend a luncheon at the Moose Lodge, receive a plaque with their t-shirt design and a savings bond.

Both DARE officers serve on the Moose Lodge Drug Awareness Committee, and one officer is on the Wood County Board of Education’s Safe and Drug Free Schools Advisory Council, which allocates money each year to the DARE Program to use for DARE material and registration costs for the WV and National Dare conferences.

One officer also gives talks several times a year at an after school drug education program at a local high school for students who have been suspended for drug use at school.

Concerts by “Hot Pursuit” are held and open to the public free of charge. These concerts are sponsored by the Wood County Council of PTA’s.

The DARE program for the past several years has been totally funded by donations since the federal grant expired in 1992.

D.A.R.E. TO SAY NO

DARE–Drug Abuse Resistance Education–is a preventive program. Its aim is to equip our youth with the skills to resist peer pressure to experiment with and use harmful drugs. One of the unique features of Project DARE is the use of police officers as instructors.

The DARE lessons focus on five major areas:

Providing accurate information about alcohol and other drugs
Teaching students decision-making skills
Showing them how to resist negative peer pressure
Giving them ideas for alternatives to drug use
Teaching students ways to say no to offers to use drugs

The DARE lessons also teach:

Personal Safety
Building self-esteem
Managing Stress
Assertiveness
8 Ways to Say NO! Say “No thanks”
Repetition (keep saying “No thanks”)
Give an excuse or a reason
Walk away
Change the subject
Avoid the situation
Cold shoulder
Strength in numbers

To SCHOOLS…

With your administrative assistance, Project DARE will provide:

A specially trained, uniformed police officer once a week for a school semester to teach 16 DARE lessons to sixth graders. These lessons require 45 minutes to one hour of class times
Visitation lessons (approximately 20 minutes) to classes at kindergarten through grade five
Opportunites for the officer to interact with the students during lunch time, playground activities, and other appropriate times during the school day
A culmination assembly for 6th grade students
A parent education evening

It would be appreciated if you could regard the officer as an educator. No law enforcement activities should be expected of the officer except in emergencies.

To PARENTS…

Here are ten easy steps you can take to prevent the use of alcohol by children:

Talk to your child about alcohol and other drugs
Learn to really listen to your child
Help your child develop strong values
Be a good role model or example in your own use of alcohol
Help your preteen deal with peer pressure
Set firm rules about drinking and other drug use
Encourage healthy, creative activities
Talk with other parents
Know what to do if you suspect a problem
Help your child feel good about himself or herself

D.A.R.E. HISTORY

In 1983, the Los Angeles, California, Police Department and the Los Angeles Unified School District developed a drug abuse prevention program entitled DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) for presentation to elementary school students. This training would precede the negative peer pressure that students face in junior and senior high schools.

Since its inception, DARE has served as a model program for agencies throughout the country. DARE is currently being taught in every state in the United States and several foreign countries.

Parkersburg was the second city in West Virginia to implement the DARE program, beginning in 1988. Several other police departments in West Virginia are now teaching the program.

Project DARE has undergone numerous evaluations by skilled researchers with similar results reported in most jurisdictions. The DARE students overwhelmingly accepted the DARE program. Principals and teachers reported positive changes in individual students, classes, and schools. School personnel reported an increase in self-confidence levels, and a more positive attitude toward school.

The benefits of educating our children in drug abuse resistance education techniques far outweigh the costs involved in making the program available. The payoff will come when today’s children assume their roles as tomorrow’s productive citizens and national leaders in a drug free society.