Members of the Thomas Jefferson School music club sing the national anthem on the field Tuesday before the D.A.R.E. baseball game at Dozer Park in Peoria.

PEORIA — For decades, D.A.R.E. Day has been a fixture on the Peoria Chiefs’ schedule.

The traditional late morning/early afternoon game has long drawn thousands of area youngsters who have completed the week-long program that educates kids about the dangers of drugs.

While area school cutbacks have slashed the number of participants in half over the years, the 2,644 kids from 41 programs who attended Tuesday’s game at Dozer Park against Cedar Rapids didn’t lack for enthusiasm.

They danced and cheered and shrieked and jumped and ate and chased foul balls with a high energy not usually seen at the ballpark.

“Kids days are always fun,” said Chiefs manager Chris Swauger. “We had some (sunny) weather after some cold nights. Then to have a good atmosphere like that is fun.”

The exuberance was present despite crisp temperatures in the low 40s and a mostly rough day for the home team.

By the time most of the kids left the park for their buses in the eighth inning, the Chiefs trailed 8-3. Cedar Rapids would survive a ninth-inning rally by the Chiefs to win 8-6.

“It’s really cool to be here as a reward from doing the D.A.R.E. program,” said 11-year-old Julia Mingus, a fifth-grader at Bolin Elementary School in East Peoria. “I learned a lot. I learned how I can help stop somebody from doing drugs. It damages their bodies and can put them in the hospital.”

Addison Hutson and Avery Burgess, also Bolin fifth-graders, said they had already decided to avoid drugs before taking the program.

“It’s better not to start at all,” Burgess said. “I have family members who smoke and it’s the same thing. You shouldn’t start.”

Added Hutson: “I learned more about drugs and what they can do to you.”

Their teacher, Roxanne Sego, said the kids embraced the program.

“They were very excited to write their essays about it,” she said.

D.A.R.E. stands for Drug Abuse Resistance Education.

The program began in California in 1983. About three-fourths of our nation’s school districts and 52 countries around the world have added D.A.R.E. into their curriculum.

D.A.R.E. is usually a police officer-led series of classroom lessons that teaches children from kindergarten through 12th grade how to resist peer pressure and live productive drug- and violence-free lives.
The largest contingent Tuesday was a group of 720 from the Woodford County D.A.R.E. program. The Canton Police Department brought 225 kids and 220 showed from the Lincoln Police Department.

The 100-strong Thomas Jefferson (Primary School) Music Club sang the national anthem.

“It’s really cool seeing kids from all over who have learned about drugs and are supporting D.A.R.E.,” said Mingus.

And supporting the St. Louis Cardinals affiliate Chiefs. Even if they’re Cubs fans.

“I’m a Cubs fan, but the Chiefs are our hometown team,” said Burgess. “So we’re rooting for them.”

Another Cubs fan, 14-year-old Mason Nauman, saw another benefit to the D.A.R.E. program — a day off school.

“It’s cold, but it’s definitely worth it,” he said.

From Washington Times-Reporter

DISCLAIMER REGARDING TED NUGENT — NOTICE TO THE PUBLIC AND MEDIA…

D.A.R.E. America and D.A.R.E. programs throughout the United States abhor Ted Nugent’s remarks regarding Parkland, Florida high school students and the tragedy they have experienced.  While Ted Nugent has in the past claimed an association with D.A.R.E., there has...

Jersey D.A.R.E. program honors four students with scholarships

The 2018 Jersey D.A.R.E. scholarship winners are shown with D.A.R.E. officer Rich Portwood and board member Bob Jones. The youth are, Blake Wittman, Caitlyn King, Taylor Young and Alec Fry. JERSEY - The Jersey D.A.R.E. organization recently presented scholarship...

D.A.R.E. Program Continues to Grow in Missouri

In a letter to Illinois D.A.R.E. Training Coordinator Kim Giugler, John Fellows of the Sedalia Police Department provided updates on the D.A.R.E. program in Missouri. He mentioned that D.A.R.E. continues to grow in Missouri, and that Missouri D.A.R.E. offers multiple...

District 123 Students D.A.R.E. to Resist Drugs and Violence

Fifth-grade students at Sward Elementary graduated from the D.A.R.E. Program after participating in the program for the last few months. Detective Tom Cronin congratulated the students and applauded them for their promise to turn away from drugs and violence. “I am...

D.A.R.E.’s Position and Curricula Regarding Marijuana & Legalization

1.  What is D.A.R.E.’s position regarding the legalization of marijuana? D.A.R.E. America is a non-profit organization dedicated to our mission of “Teaching students good decision-making skills to help them lead safe and healthy lives.” As taught in our curricula, we...

Top Essay Writers Honored

St. Boniface Catholic School fifth graders Cecelia Edwards, Lillian Gilbertson, Rachel Kretzer, and Spencer Martin were honored and read their winning D.A.R.E. essays recently during the St. Boniface fifth graders’ D.A.R.E. graduation ceremony. Pictured are St. Boniface Catholic School fifth-grade students with members of the Edwardsville Police Department at D.A.R.E. graduation.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Purchase D.A.R.E. Merchandise & Workbooks