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Blevins D.A.R.E. Program graduates 31 5th Grader


Blevins D.A.R.E. Program graduates 31 5th Graders
The Hempstead County Sheriff's Office and the 8th North Prosecuting Attorney's Office held the 12th Annual D.A.R.E. graduation today at Blevins Elementary School with 31 5th grade students receiving diplomas from the ten-week program.
The primary goal of Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) is to teach effective peer resistance and refusal skills so that adolescents can say "no" to drugs and their friends who may want them to use drugs. The secondary goals of the program are to build students' social skills and enhance their self-esteem, as these are believed to be linked to adolescent drug use.
D.A.R.E. uses the social influence approach to drug-use prevention. This psycho-social approach emphasizes and aims to strengthen children's refusal skills so they can better resist social pressures to try and use drugs. It also builds general social competencies to help prevent or at least delay adolescent drug use. The core curriculum was built for and targets children in their last years of elementary school, fifth and sixth grades. It is thought that this is the age where children are most receptive to anti - drug messages and catches them before they experiment or are pressured to experiment with drugs by their peers. DARE officers receive 80 hours of training in classroom management, teaching strategies, communication skills, adolescent development, drug information, and thorough instruction on D.A.R.E.'s 17 lessons.
Deputy Rebecca Billings has taught the D.A.R.E. program for the past three years and currently serves as the School Resource Officer for the Blevins School District, she also teaches the program to Spring Hill School District and Garrett Memorial Christian School.
Congratulations to all the graduates and essay winners.
Sheriff James A. Singleton