Pubdate: Sat, 11 Jul 2009
Source: Expositor, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2009 Osprey Media
Author: Vincent Ball


Carol de Ville has added some new words to her vocabulary. She figures
they're terms every parent should know.

"Glass, Hawaiian salt, ice, jib, spooch and glass...those are all
street names for crystal meth," she said reading from a page on a
website. "I mean who knew?

"But these are the kinds of things parents need to know so that if
they see it in a text message or something, they know what it means."

She's a member of the board of directors of Brant DARE, which stands
for Drug Abuse Resistance Education. The website she's speaking about
can be found at . It's the latest addition to a
program that has been in Brant for 20 years and it's a new way of
reaching kids and their parents.

"There's a lot parents don't know and this is a way for them to learn
more about DARE and about drugs, violence and bullying," de Ville said.

"It can also help them about how they can talk to their kids about
some of the situations they're going to face and the choices they're
going to have to make."

The DARE program is taught in local schools by two police officers in
one-hour sessions over a 13-week period. More than 13,000 kids have
participated in the program since it began in Brant 20 years ago.

A graduation ceremony that includes parents and grandparents, as well
as representatives of city police and DARE board members, is held at
the conclusion of the sessions.

The goal of DARE is to give youngsters the skills they need to make
well-informed decisions and the ability to say no when tempted to use
alcohol, drugs, tobacco or engage in violent behaviour. It's all about
learning how to make good decisions, de Ville said.

The website was launched in the fall 2008 by city police Insp. Geoff
Nelson, who is a member of the DARE board.

In addition to information provided by local sources, the website has
links to other sites, including one to the national anti-drug strategy
put together by the federal government, Nelson said.

"The link to the national antidrug strategy is a good one for
parents," Nelson said. "It has a lot of information about the
different types of drugs that are out there as well as information
about recognizing drug use.

"We also have contact information for local agencies like St.
Leonard's Community Services, the health unit, Brantford police and
Nova Vita on the site."

The website also features a kids section featuring videos, links to
other popular sites like and an area dedicated to DARE

Anyone clicking on the DARE kids icon will be promptly informed that
it is for kids only. "Adults this Way," will pop up on the screen and
direction is given to adults to exit the site. It's kind of like the
sign teens like to put on the door of their room at home.

"It's education and there's a lot of good information on the site,"
Nelson said. "But we want it to be fun for the kids and we're updating
it regularly."

The site encourages kids to come up with suggestions for the website.

One of the most compelling sections of the website includes some DARE
essays written by local students who made a pledge not to use drugs.
In includes a hard hitting, heartfelt essay by a student who described
his uncle's death as a result of drug use.

The boy's uncle loved to play football and was a quarterback of a
Brantford team at 12 years of age. Two years later however, he was
smoking and by 15 the teen was doing mushrooms and acid. He kept
sinking lower and lower until he was found dead in a van in Paris. He
had been in the van dead for a couple of days before being discovered.

The website is an important new addition to what DARE has to offer and
the program will be taking another big step in September, Sue Reid,
chair of the DARE board said.

In September, a Transitions program will be launch for students
entering Grade 9.

"This is something we've been working on for six years and something
we think is really important," Reid said. "It's great that we do
something for students in Grade 6. That's important.

"But we think it's important that we recap what they learned then just
as they're entering high school."

High school is a whole new phase in their lives and they're going to
be faced with new and more challenging situations.

"I think we're really fortunate to have something like this happening
in September and we're lucky to have the website," Reid said.

"It's important to stay current and let's face it, a lot of people
surf the Internet and we're giving them a place where they can go and
learn more about good decision making." 
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MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr