Pubdate: Wed, 05 Feb 2003
Source: Western Star, The (CN NF)
Copyright: 2003 The Western Star
Author: Cory Hurley, Star Staff Writer
Bookmark: (D.A.R.E.)


Sgt. Paul Murphy introduced an attentive group of C.C. Loughlin Grade 6 
students Tuesday to the DARE program.

Sgt. Murphy, who completed the program's training course in St. John's last 
October, and the students each had their first classroom session of the 
17-hour Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program. The program will be 
instructed for the first time in Corner Brook over the next six to eight 
weeks twice a week to three Grade 6 classes at the school.

The DARE program combines the effort of police, teachers and parents in 
teaching children the affects of drug abuse and how to make the right 
choices ? to say no to drugs. As well, the DARE program aims to teach youth 
about violence, rules, respect and young people's rights.

"It's a very important program. It's all over North America," Sgt. Murphy 
said. "The training can be offered to Kindergarten to Grade 4, Grades 5 to 
6, and junior or senior high, but Canada-wide they've usually chosen to go 
with Grade 5 and 6. This is looked at as the developing age."

The program, which was developed by a group of teachers in Los Angeles, can 
be offered as an elective in the school curriculum. The use of videos and 
cassettes, in addition to workbooks and class participation, are considered 
positive tools to get students interested and involved in learning about 
the serious nature of drug abuse and resistance.

Heidi Kennedy, a Grade 6 student at the school, was thrilled with her first 
DARE session and the future outlook of the program.

"I thought it was very well presented, and I'm looking forward to taking 
part in the next eight weeks," said Kennedy. "It keeps you aware of certain 
situations and how to deal with them, so you don't feel uncomfortable in 
talking to somebody about it."

Grade 6 teacher June Abbott is also pleased with the future lessons that 
will be taught to the young students.

"I feel it's a wonderful program because these kids, particularly, are at 
the time in their lives where they'll encounter situations where they'll be 
forced or nudged along to use drugs or to drink, whatever," she said. 
"Having this kind of training at this particular time is wonderful because 
it will help them cope with those kinds of situations better.

"It's a great opportunity, and a wonderful learning experience."

Abbott said it's a great opportunity for the school to step in and do 
whatever they can for the students.

"We have so many problems with our young people in society today. We have a 
lot of young people coming from homes who are disadvantaged in many ways," 
she said. "When we at school can give some assistance or support to all 
kids, then I think we're doing great things."
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