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Posted on: August 27, 2019

DARE Program

DARE Graduation-websize

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) program.


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.

 

Sadly, many 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.
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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 addiction.  

 

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 Junction.

 

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 Junction 

Unified School District.  

 

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 Harshman
Community and media liaison officer
Apache Junction Police Department

 

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