This NEW D.A.R.E. curriculum challenges students by having them participate in active learning. The benefit to the students is the strong foundation of decision-making skills that they apply to real life situations about the
use of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and inhalants. These important decision-making skills are acted on through a spiraling set of group and paired activities. The students are actively engaged as they learn how to cope with the pressures associated with adolescence.
The new D.A.R.E. elementary curriculum has been shortened to nine lessons and a culmination. Topic areas are more specific to the needs of this age group, with an emphasis on student progression. While practical, the lessons are also fun. Students make the lessons come to life while practicing new skills.
Each lesson is structured with Goals and Objectives—in order to meet the National Health Education Standards. The format of instruction provides practical information throughout the lessons and allows the students to learn from each other.
The lessons on normative beliefs include national data about teen use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs to help children better understand how few of their peers actually do use these substances.
Classroom instructors and the student’s parents will also be called upon to play a supportive role. The teachers are more directly involved as a partner in cooperative learning with the D.A.R.E. Officers. At times, parents will have opportunities to be “taught” by their children.
In addition to presenting the elementary curriculum, D.A.R.E. officers visit the kindergarten through fourth grade classes at the schools. These visits focus on child safety and prevention issues. Students are alerted to the potential dangers in the misuse of drugs, medicine, and other substances. There is a recognition of the need to help students at this level develop an awareness that alcohol and tobacco are also drugs. Four D.A.R.E. sessions are held for grades K-2 and five sessions are held in 3rd and 4th grades.