Pubdate: Wed, 31 Oct 2007
Source: Terrace Standard (CN BC)
Copyright: 2007 Terrace Standard
Author: Margaret Speirs
Bookmark: (D.A.R.E.)
Bookmark: (Youth)


Centennial Christian School was the setting for a unique class
graduation that took place here for the first time last week.

Nineteen RCMP officers from around the province dressed in red serge
took part in their DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program
graduation ceremony Oct. 26.

The officers spent two weeks learning how to talk to children about
drugs and teach them how to make informed decisions in their life.
They were divided into four teams and every day they competed for the
DARE mascot, Daren the lion.

Two constables from the local detachment, Kari Redlich and Cindy
Nunes, took part along with four other women in the program.

They will join seven or eight trained DARE officers here to go into
primary and elementary schools to teach students the perils of drug

"DARE covers not just drugs and alcohol and tobacco but kids making
healthy choices," said Const. Kim Robinson, also a DARE trained
officer here. "It's a real kid-oriented program and we are not
teachers, we are police and we have to learn how to teach correctly."

Robinson took the program two years ago and said it's not all work,
there's plenty of time for laughter while learning.

Officers can build a rapport with the community as the students get to
know them.

Despite what people may think, the DARE program is one of the most
difficult programs for RCMP officers to complete.

Participants begin by practising what they learn on each other before
going into classrooms to teach students.

They will teach a 10-week program aimed at Grade 5 youth and a one
week refresher that brings DARE officers back into the schools to talk
to Grade 7 before they go into junior high and peer pressure begins.

"Grade 5 is a great age to teach kids," Robinson said, adding that
it's still an age where children want to please adults.

It's the first time officers have travelled here for DARE training as
it usually takes place in the Okanagan and the Lower Mainland.

Inspector Dave Fenson commander of the Terrace RCMP detachment spoke
to the graduates and congratulated them. Hal Steadham of the local
school board also spoke.

Glenn Bennett, chief counsellor of the Kitselas, brought his
congratulations as did Arlene Roberts on behalf of the Kermode
Friendship Society and Kitsumkalum - her husband Don is the chief
counsellor of Kitsumkalum.

DARE mentor Dean Gladue told the audience about a plastic container he
held that contained money. During the two weeks, the participants all
agreed to have a "potty mouth" fund: anyone using foul language would
put money into the container. They agreed to donate the total of $400
to the education fund for the children of Const. Chris Warden, an RCMP
officer killed recently in the Northwest Territories.
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