DARE and CHAMPS Help Keep Kids Safe
Students within the area will learn the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse this school year, as the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) and Choosing Healthy Activities and Methods Promoting Safety (CHAMPS) courses are taught to elementary school students.
DARE DARE is a program used throughout the United States to teach students how to resist peer pressure and live productive drug and violence-free lives. It uses lessons and acronyms to inform students of the dangers of these activities.
Vidalia City Schools
DARE Teacher and Vidalia Police Department Officer continued from page
Dwayne Carpenter teaches the 10-week program to 5th graders at Sally D. Meadows Elementary School. He completes the following lessons: Introduction to DARE — Keeping It Real; Drug Information for Responsible Decision Making; Risk and Consequences; Peer Pressure; Dealing with Stressful Situations; Basic Communication; Nonverbal Communication; Bullying, Helping Network; and Getting Help from Others.
“Our goal is to teach students: how to handle bullying by reporting it, to resist illegal drugs and alcohol; to know people care by using their helping network; and to not be afraid of law enforcement,” Carpenter commented. “I am happy to help facilitate the program which belongs to the students.”
Toombs County Schools & RTCA The Lyons Police Department teaches the same 10-week course to 5th grade students at Lyons Upper Elementary School, Toombs Central Elementary School, and Robert Toombs Christian Academy (RTCA). They complete the same lessons to help students learn the importance of these skills.
Lyons Police Chief Wesley Walker explained, “The goal of the program is to teach kids decisionmaking skills to help them become a good citizen.”
The Montgomery County School System uses a different variation of drug and alcohol resistance education, as they implement the CHAMPS program within the elementary school. CHAMPS was developed by the Georgia Sheriff’s Association to address not only harmful substances, but also other regional issues specific to the state of Georgia. This program deals with several topics, including: Internet Safety & Social Media; Alcohol; Leaders & Followers; ATV Safety; Marijuana; Bullying; Methamphetamine, Peer Pressure, Choices & Consequences, Prescription Drug Abuse; Cocaine; Stress; Gangs; Tobacco; Understanding & Avoiding Violence; Home Alone/Child Abduction Safety; Water Safety; and Hunting & Firearm Safety.
Montgomery County Chief Deputy Ron Bivins teaches the 12-week course to 5th grade students at Montgomery County Elementary School. He even uses his small dog to connect with students and gain their trust.
“I love to teach CHAMPS because I get to teach kids valuable lessons and show them that not all law enforcement officers are bad,” Bivins said. “I think the kids enjoy the program, too.”