Pubdate: Mon, 08 Aug 2005
Source: Times and Democrat, The (SC)
Copyright: 2005, The Times and Democrat
Author: Minnie Miller, T&D Bamberg Correspondent
Bookmark: (D.A.R.E.)


Is kindergarten too early to start teaching kids about drugs and negative 
peer pressure?

Veteran teacher Faye Bellamy of Richard Carroll Elementary School, Campus A 
in Bamberg says definitely not.

As a K5- and first-grade teacher for 28 years, Bellamy knows what goes on 
the minds and lives of her young, impressionable charges.

"In this fast-paced society of today, even very young children are being 
exposed to things through family members and peers," Bellamy said. "We can 
help them sort these things out."

Bellamy is the recipient of the 2004-2005 D.A.R.E. Association Educator of 
the Year award.

Nominated by Bamberg County D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) 
Officer Sgt. Adrienne C. Blume, Bellamy was cited for her "devotion to the 
D.A.R.E. program and willingness to be a team player and an example to all."

The award was presented at the annual Georgia/South Carolina D.A.R.E. 
conference on July 21 in Valdosta, Ga.

Winning the award came as a shock to Bellamy, whose quiet voice and calm 
mannerism have won the hearts of hundreds of students and parents over the 

RCES Principal Skipper Smith described Bellamy as "sincerely devoted to her 

Faye's work is second to none," Smith said. "She never raises her voice, 
she handles her own problems in the classroom and she draws students into 
what she's teaching."

Bellamy's ability to keep her students#, attention and her innovation in 
developing lesson plans came in very handy as she incorporated the D.A.R.E. 
program into her curriculum. During her 14 years as a K5 teacher, Bellamy 
has worked with Blume to teach D.A.R.E. principals such as staying healthy, 
the difference between medicine and drugs, resisting negative peer 
pressure, working out differences and appreciating community helpers.

To help reach out to her young students, Bellamy came up with song and poem 
lyrics that would be fun and educational at the same time. The familiar 
tune "B-I-N-G-O!" became "Just Say No To D-R-U-G-S !", and "Frere Jacques" 
took on a new twist promoting healthy foods and exercise.

Helping answer kids' questions about drugs and violence helps redirect 
their thinking and leads them to make better choices, Bellamy said. 
Students who have seen drug abuse firsthand need reassurance that adults 
can make mistakes in how they choose to de-stress and wind down, and 
Bellamy helps her students come up with alternatives for relaxing and 
solving problems.

"Being from a small, poor rural community, where it is so inviting for 
children and young adults to sell and use drugs, I have grown to respect 
and appreciate the goals and objectives of the D.A.R.E. program," she said.

Having Officer Blume in the classrooms and in the hallways of RCES gives 
the children a good feeling about the law enforcement community," Bellamy said.

"I also have really wonderful peers to work with," she added, noting that 
she and her fellow teachers share ideas and brainstorm continuously.

Blume, who has served as Bamberg County's D.A.R.E. officer for 15 years, 
received the 2004-2005 South Carolina D.A.R.E. Association President's 
Award during the annual meeting for her heartfelt commitment to the program 
and willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty. Blume was the 
1997-1998 D.A.R.E. Officer of the Year, and in 2004 the Bamberg County 
Sheriff's Office received the D.A.R.E. Agency of the Year award.

During an upcoming South Carolina D.A.R.E. Association meeting in Columbia, 
Bellamy will present her suggestions and lesson plan examples for adapting 
the program to the K5 level in a way that will keep students' attention and 
lay a foundation for a healthy lifestyle.

Blume has nominated Bellamy for the National D.A.R.E. Association Educator 
of the Year award, which will be presented in July 2006 at the National 
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom