The 2000-2001 Alta/Aurelia D.A.R.E. Graduation was held on Monday night at the Alta Community Building. There were 86 students who graduated from the program this year.
The D.A.R.E. program was created in 1983 by the Los Angles Police Department and the Los Angles School District as a proactive means of stopping drug use and violence before they begin.
A uniformed law enforcement officer teaches the D.A.R.E. program.
"The reason for this is that the students know that a law enforcement officer deals with the effects of drugs and alcohol on a daily basis," said this year's D.A.R.E. officer Mike Anderson.
To become a D.A.R.E. instructor you must have at least two years of working on the street and complete a two-week D.A.R.E. instructor course. The core program is taught to 5th and 6th graders due to the fact that they are less likely to have experimented with drugs and alcohol, also students at this level are more receptive to prevention education, Anderson said.
The D.A.R.E. course is 17 weeks long consisting of one 45-minute class a week. Among some of the topics that are taught are considering consequences, learning resistance techniques, ways to say no, building self-esteem, managing stress and reducing violence.
Towards the end of the D.A.R.E. course each student is required to write an essay telling what they have learned in D.A.R.E. and what they liked about the D.A.R.E. program. The best two essays from each class are chosen and the student that wrote the essay reads it at the graduation.
The D.A.R.E. essay winners this year are: Abby Corlew, Ali Ortiz, Heather Nehring, Abby Brookbank, Amanda Meyer and Dora Rivas.
Read the rest of this article in the 4/05/01 Pilot Tribune.