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One of the best things
about the school year getting underway is that a whole new set of kids in
Apache Junction will be going through the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE)
DARE was established
in 1983 by the Los Angeles Police Department and it was so popular that it
spread across the nation. Millions of kids across the country have gone through
the program. Most kids, especially those in Apache Junction, have very fond
memories of their DARE class and their DARE officers.
municipalities across the country began to abandon the program due in part to
the economic recession that began in 2009. However our city leaders and school
officials in Apache Junction decided that we, as a community, could not afford
to do without the program. Apache Junction has been a proud DARE community for more
than 30 years.
Click on the picture for a video about the DARE program.
In 2013, DARE
administrators updated the entire program to a researcher-designed curriculum
in answer to concerns that the program was not as effective and it could be.
Now, rather than teaching kids about the dangers of individual drugs, children
are now being taught problem solving skills and how to make good decisions.
The new curriculum not
only equips them with the skills they need to resist peer pressure but they are
also empowered to make positive choices in other areas of their life.
During the first
lesson of the 10-week researched-designed curriculum, the students are provided
with a tool called the DARE Decision Making Model. They can refer to the tool
anytime they are faced with a problem, challenge or opportunity. DARE
administrators have also developed several supplemental lessons that deal with
a variety of other issues including bullying, sexting, suicide and opioid
The Apache Junction
Unified School District and police have always worked hard to celebrate those who
successfully complete the DARE program. Students who graduate receive a
certificate of completion at a commencement ceremony attended by the superintendent
of schools, the chief of police, City Council members and the mayor of Apache
Last year all the DARE
graduates were treated to a day of fun at Mesa’s Golfland/Sunsplash as a reward
for their accomplishments.
One of the standout
features of the DARE program in Apache Junction is that a major portion of its
funding comes from private organizations and from employees of the Apache
DARE has been
revitalized and it is finding its way back into schools all across America.
This year in Apache Junction, DARE Officer Carl Halperin will present the
curriculum to more than 600 students.
In addition to his
duties teaching DARE, Officer Halperin has an office at Apache Junction High
School, where he responds to calls for service and acts as a liaison between
the school district and the police department.
We’re looking forward
to another successful year of DARE in Apache Junction.
Cpl. Marshall HarshmanCommunity and media liaison officerApache Junction Police Department