The D.A.R.E. program was started in 1983 by the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles Unified School System. The purpose of the D.A.R.E. program is to help children stay off drugs and avoid violence.
The Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) curriculum is taught by police officers whose training and experience give them the background needed to answer the difficult questions often posed by young students about drugs and crime. Prior to becoming a D.A.R.E. instructor, Officers have to undergo 80 hours of special training in areas such as child development, classroom management, teaching techniques and communication skills. The core curriculum is taught to either 5th or 6th grade: whichever grade is highest in the elementary school. The D.A.R.E. curriculum has been updated recently to keep current with evolving society. The D.A.R.E. program is presently 12 weeks long. D.A.R.E. lessons are designed to teach students about the dangers of tobacco, alcohol and marijuana.
Besides the classroom instruction, students also role-play and talk about stress, peer pressure, ways to say “No”, and the alternatives and consequences to violence and drug use. At the end of the D.A.R.E. program, students receive a certificate of graduation and a D.A.R.E. Tee-Shirt.
The D.A.R.E. program and the D.A.R.E. Visitation program for pre-school and kindergarten students is currently taught in the following schools in Saint Martin Parish:
- Breaux Bridge Primary
- Stephensville Elementary
- Catahoula Elementary/Primary
- Cecilia Primary
- Early Learning Center
- Breaux Bridge Christian Academy
- Breaux Bridge Elementary
- Parks Middle
- Saint Bernard Catholic
- Saint Martinville Primary
- Trinity Catholic
- Teche Elementary
D.A.R.E.’s primary mission is to provide children with the information and skills they need to live drug-and-violence-free lives.
The mission is to equip kids with the tools that will enable them to avoid negative influences and instead, allow them to focus on their strengths and potential. And, that’s exactly what D.A.R.E. is designed to do.
Additionally, it establishes positive relationships between students and law enforcement, teachers, parents, and other community leaders. Every youngster should have the opportunity to grow-up healthy, safe, secure, and equipped with the skills needed to succeed in life. Contemporary America, however, is rampant with challenges that could keep children from a positive life path.
For more information on the DARE program, contact Deputy Troy Dupuis at 337-394-2604.