What happened to D.A.R.E.? Why L.E.A.D.?
DARE America was formed and, for years, has been providing drug education to students at all grade levels. The curriculum they have adopted is called Keep It Real (KIR). This program talks about life skills such as goal setting and decision making. However, the program does not talk about drugs at the 5th grade level.
Each state has their own charter of DARE, so the Ramsey D.A.R.E. program was a part of DARE NJ. This organization existed to look out for the best interest of NJ students. DARE NJ was not happy that KIR does not talk about drugs in the program, and NJ state curriculum standards require drug education programs to talk about drugs. Therefore, KIR was not acceptable, which prompted DARE NJ to implement a program titled Too Good for Drugs (TGFD). For a number of years, students at Dater School have been learning the TGFD curriculum.
DARE America demanded DARE NJ teach KIR in the classroom and threatened to revoke DARE NJ’s charter if DARE NJ did not comply. After a lengthy court battle, a judge ordered that DARE NJ was not allowed to continue using TGFD. A number of police departments in the State of New Jersey, including the Ramsey Police Department, strongly believe in the TGFD program. Therefore, a new organization known as Law Enforcement Against Drugs or L.E.A.D. has been formed. In January of 2016, the Ramsey Police Department will be introducing it’s L.E.A.D. program and continue to teach fifth graders the TGFD curriculum.
Is L.E.A.D. beneficial?
Our curriculum, TGFD, delivers a strong, reasoned and effective anti-substance abuse message. Our officers are exemplary role models who form trusting and supportive relationships not just with your child, but with your family. Our physical presence provides protection for your children while they are in school and our team building events foster a healthy and lasting partnership that transcends the school environment. At the conclusion of this year, your child will be better prepared, your family will be more informed, new relationships will exist and many fond memories will have surrounded the concept of drug-free living.
What does the curriculum teach?
Classroom lessons demonstrate the health, social, legal and short-term consequences of using tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, inhalants or any other illegal drug.
Normative beliefs will be contrasted against research-based statistics on the prevalence of underage drinking and tobacco use.
Communication, confidence, assertiveness, refusal strategies and other resistance skills are discussed and practiced in role play exercises.
The development of positive friendships is discussed, as is the influence of peer pressure and the art of avoiding risky situations.
We explore curiosity and examine the role of self-pressure in decision making exercises.
Each elaborate L.E.A.D. Program event seeks to vividly endorse the strength and optimism of a drug-free life. Each event brings key components of the community together in action, reinforcing strong social bonds amongst the kids and community around them. They form a visible partnership between the police officers, parents, teachers and students. Several of the events also challenge the students with a unique opportunity to build strong internal assets. More importantly, these events are fun for everyone involved.
Our website www.ramseyrocks.org will contain updated information on events.