FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE August 27, 2012
Contact: Liz Mills, Director of Media Relations and Communications, 571-251-5568 mobile [email protected]
LCSO Expands D.A.R.E. Program into County Middle Schools
Loudoun County, VA: The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office will expand the Drug Abuse and Resistance Education D.A.R.E. Program into Loudoun County Middle Schools during the 2012-2013 school year.
The six-week program, consisting of ten lessons will be provided to all 6th graders in the spring during health and PE classes. A follow-up instructional class will also be taught to all 8th graders. The expansion of the program comes at no extra cost as the classes will be taught by current members of the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office School Resource Officer Unit who are assigned to county middle schools. Previously, the program was offered only to all 5th graders at county elementary schools.
“Our goal is to reinforce the lessons learned during the elementary school program and help students combat peer pressure during their middle school years, a very vulnerable time,” said Sheriff Mike Chapman.
D.A.R.E. is a universal program designed to reach the general population, rather than "at-risk" groups and it is most often implemented in the fifth and sixth grades. Research has shown this to be a time when children are very receptive to anti-drug messages, particularly as they approach the age associated with drug experimentation.
Members of the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office School Resource Officer Unit attended 80-hours of training for the D.A.R.E., including the middle school curriculum called “Keepin’ It Real.”
The D.A.R.E. Program has three main goals:
•First, D.A.R.E. seeks to provide students with a knowledge base on the effects of drug abuse that goes beyond the physical ramifications and extends to emotional, social, and economic aspects of life. •Secondly, DARE aims to build decision-making and problem solving skills and strategies to help students make informed decisions and resist drug use, peer pressure, and violence. •Lastly, an integral part of the program is to provide students with alternatives to drug use.
The D.A.R.E. program has been taught by members of the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office to Loudoun County students since 1987.