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Project D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) is a cooperative effort of the CONNECTICUT STATE POLICE and LOCAL POLICE DEPARTMENTS to prevent drug abuse in children and youth.

Traditional drug abuse programs dwell on harmful effects of drugs. The program emphasis of Project D.A.R.E. is to help students recognize and resist the many subtle pressures that influence them to experiment with alcohol, cigarettes and drugs. In addition, program strategies are planned to focus on feelings relating to self-esteem, interpersonal and communication skills, decision making, and positive alternatives to drug abuse behavior. The focus of the program is aimed at the fifth and sixth grades. The reason for this focus is that this is the age group where peer pressure is going to become a large part of the youth's development.

D.A.R.E.'s aim is to equip our youth with the skills to resist peer pressure to experiment with and use harmful drugs and alcohol.

The program content for D.A.R.E. is organized into seventeen 60 minute lessons to be conducted by a POLICE OFFICER and suggested extended activities to be taught by the regular classroom teacher.

The lessons will be conducted by a specially trained police officer who will have successfully completed an eighty hour training course. This course includes: officer - school relationships, development of self-esteem, peer pressure resistance techniques, narcotics recognition, communication skills, child development and classroom evaluations. The State Department of Education is actively involved in the eighty hour instructor training process. Areas of expertise addressed include: classroom management techniques, public speaking, lesson plan outlines, teaching methodology and teacher - parent - school relations.

D.A.R.E. offers variety oriented techniques which are designed to encourage student generated responses to problem solving situations. The classroom teacher also remains in the D.A.R.E. classroom and participates along with the students; this strengthens student teacher relationships.

Project D.A.R.E. has undergone numerous evaluations by skilled researchers with similar results reported in most jurisdictions. The D.A.R.E. students overwhelmingly accepted the D.A.R.E. program and felt it was successful. Principals and teachers reported positive changes in individual students, classes, and schools. Additionally, school personnel reported an increase in positive attitudes towards law enforcement personnel, a reduction in school vandalism, truancy and disciplinary actions, an increase in self-confidence levels, and a more positive attitude toward school.

Project D.A.R.E. began in the Los Angeles school system. It was developed by the Los Angeles Unified School District, the Los Angeles City Board of Education, and the Los Angeles City Police Department. Project D.A.R.E. has now become a nationwide program. Project D.A.R.E. came to Connecticut two years ago where a small pilot program was conducted. Because of the outstanding success of those pilot programs, Statewide Narcotics Task Force, of the Connecticut State Police has instituted the D.A.R.E. Police Officer Training Program for the State of Connecticut. The first training program was done on October 28, 1988, and thirty-three Connecticut police officers successfully completed the eighty hour course.

For further information about D.A.R.E visit www.dare.com