D.A.R.E., which stands for Drug, Abuse, Resistance, Education, was founded in 1983 in Los Angeles and has proven so successful that it is now being implemented in 75 percent of our nation’s school districts and in more than 52 countries around the world. D.A.R.E. is a police officer-led series of classroom lessons that teaches children from kindergarten through 12th grade how to resist peer pressure and live productive drug and violence-free lives.
We currently have one certified D.A.R.E. instructor that teaches the Keepin' it REAL Curriculum to the fifth grade at Comfort Elementary School. This course’s ten lessons are arranged in a scaffolding process, starting with the basics about responsibility and decision making and then building on each other allowing students to develop their own responses to real life situations. The very first lesson starts with responsibility and introduces decision making with subsequent lessons applying these skills in increasingly complex ways to resist drug use and other detrimental choices in their lives.
The most important thing they learn that they can apply to their everyday life, is their Dare Decision Making Model. They learn how to define, assess, respond, and evaluate, any given situation while focusing on the positive outcome. When they define, they are looking at the situation and identifying the problem, challenge, or opportunity. When they assess they look at what their choices are, and then respond by making a choice. Then they evaluate, asking themselves, "Was the choice a good choice?" As the students learn this, it is amazing to watch them grow, and often they realize their parents have been teaching them the same thing.
We are excited to watch this program continue to grow each year.