Pubdate: Fri, 11 Nov 2005
Source: Strathcona County This Week (CN AB)
Copyright: 2005 Strathcona County This Week
Author: Andreas Morse
Bookmark: (D.A.R.E.)


The Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program is up and running
in schools across the county for the 11th year.

In fact, the program has expanded to about 100 classrooms in both
elementary and junior high schools. That's up from 30 classrooms just
two years ago and the success of the program to date is thanks to
fundraising efforts but Const. Ken Fuhrmann, the RCMP's DARE
coordinator, said what they need now, to ensure further success, is a
little help from the county.

Fundraising for DARE allowed the Elk Island Public Schools Partners in
Education Foundation to initiate a pilot project last year by paying
the cost of two part-time bylaw officers, which allowed the program to
be taught in more classrooms. The money that DARE has received from
fundraising efforts has paid, and continues to pay for the
approximately $10/student price tag that the program carries.

Despite the success, Fuhrmann said it's sustainable funding that will
keep DARE in county schools.

"We're in a number of schools already thanks to our fundraising
efforts," said Fuhrmann. "What we're looking for now is some
sustainable funding."

Currently there are three bylaw officers instructing the DARE program.
Two at the junior high level and one at the elementary level.

Fuhrmann said he's not interested in increasing that number right now
but simply to sustain it.

"It (funding from the county) wouldn't be for anything extra, it would
just pay for what we have now," he said.

The DARE proposal is in front of Council right now as they hammer out
next year's budget but in the meantime fundraising continues to be
used to purchase the materials required for the program.

Fuhrmann said Strathcona County's support will ensure that DARE
continues to be offered at the current level and for further expansion
within the county.

Speaking of expansion, Fuhrmann recently attended instructor training
for a new parent component of the DARE program. Mills Haven will act
as a pilot school for the program which consists of five lessons
concentrating on providing parents with relevant information about
drugs, drug use, experimentation, violence and parenting skills.
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