Pubdate: Wed, 30 Jul 2003
Source: Alexander City Outlook, The (AL)
Copyright: 2003 The Alexander City Outlook
Author: Stephanie Rebman
Bookmark: (D.A.R.E.)


Alexander City students will benefit from a new D.A.R.E. curriculum
this year, giving them the most recent information about drugs and
providing them more ways to say 'no.'

According to Alexander City Police D.A.R.E. Instructor James Orr, the
new D.A.R.E. curriculum will be implemented this year to remain
up-to-date and give students new learning opportunities.

"To have a good curriculum you have to have a changing curriculum,
because as we know, everything is always changing," Orr said. "This
curriculum will be more fun, group work is geared more towards
facilitation and learning."

While the curriculum is new, the program will still have the same
focus of informing children of the dangers of drugs, alcohol and violence.

"We'll be giving information on tobacco, alcohol, marijuana and
inhalants, using the most recent research available," Orr said. "We'll
teach using groups and problem solving. In the old curriculum we were
always focused on saying 'no,' but the new curriculum is a problem
solving curriculum and has a decision making module."

In the new program, the acronym D.A.R.E. becomes part of the decision
making process when a child encounters drugs, alcohol or violence.

"D stands for define: describe the problem, challenge or opportunity,"
Orr said. "A stands for access: size up the situation, think of the
pros and cons of the choice. R stands for respond: make a decision, a
choice. E is evaluate: review your choice, was it a good one, would
you make the decision again."

D.A.R.E. Coordinator Mary Tremelling said she is ready for the new
program to begin and thinks it will be an exciting year for both
students and instructors.

"I think it's going to be fantastic," she said. "I'm excited about the
new curriculum. I think it's going to be great for everyone. It's
going to be more involved. I think everyone is going to like the new
curriculum. I think it's going to be easier and have more partnering.
Students are going to be able to do more hands-on work. Overall, I'm
just excited about it. It's long overdue."

Orr said the police department's goal is to have the new program
taught in grades two, six, eight and in kindergarten. A new goal for
this upcoming school year is to begin gang resistance education and

According to Orr, the schedule for this year's D.A.R.E. instruction is
not ready yet. Courses will begin after the new workbooks are printed.
Orr said they should be finished between August and December so the
10-week program can begin.

"Our goal is to significantly reduce / eliminate the use of alcohol
and drugs and the use of violence by young people," Orr said. "We
usually teach around 1,500 students in Alexander City, and the program
has been in Alexander City since 1990. I'm excited for this year
because it's going to be new for me and I hope the kids get a lot out
of it." 
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