Officer Matthew Solano is shown teaching students drug resistance strategies during the inaugural D.A.R.E. class at the Cal Aero Preserve Academy in Chino on Aug. 9. Chino Valley School District photo

Officer Matthew Solano is shown teaching students drug resistance strategies during the inaugural D.A.R.E. class at the Cal Aero Preserve Academy in Chino on Aug. 9.
Chino Valley School District photo

The drug abuse resistance program D.A.R.E. has returned to Chino elementary schools after 20 years, with a focus on healthy decision-making skills and self-advocacy.

Approximately 900 fifth-grade students in the Chino Valley Unified School District are participating in the D.A.R.E. program guided by the Chino Police Department this school year, said Andi Johnston, district director of communications.

D.A.R.E. is an educational program that aims to prevent drug use, gang membership, and violence.

The school district, which initiated D.A.R.E. in the late 1980s, discontinued the program in 2003 due to cuts in state funding, according to Champion archives.

The Chino City Council on Sept. 19 approved the $11,500 budget for the program that covers the curriculum workbooks and graduation shirts students receive after completion.

Chino Police Officer Matthew Solano is instructing this year’s program, which began Aug. 9 at Cal Aero Preserve Academy tracks C and D in Chino.

The program is being held over two ten-week semesters at all Chino elementary schools, with Newman, Briggs, Walnut, Cal Aero Preserve Academy, and Alicia Cortez in the first semester and Doris Dickson, Cal Aero Preserve Academy tracks A and B, Edwin Rhodes, Howard Cattle, Anna Borba and E.J. Marshall in the second semester.

Officer Solano said the program teaches students about risks and consequences, how to communicate effectively, and rely on their “help network.”

Students are taught how to adopt habits that promote mental and emotional health, not just physical health, he said.

A 45-minute D.A.R.E. class session begins with answering questions, watching a video or cartoon skit showing people going through situations or difficulties related to drug use, peer pressure, and bullying, and working in groups to figure out the best way to respond in those situations, Officer Solano said.

In week four of the program, students act out skits in resistance strategies, giving examples of how to resist peer pressure.

Officer Solano, who has previous experience as a high school resource officer, said he loves seeing the resistance strategy skits students come up with.

“Some of them are really quiet at the beginning but seeing them really open up and have a deep understanding of the concepts they’re learning is amazing,” he said.

The school district piloted the program last year at Levi Dickey Elementary School in south Ontario with Police Officer Jesse O. Hernandez of the Ontario Police Department as instructor.

This year, Liberty Elementary School, at 2730 S. Bon View Ave., is the only CVUSD elementary school in Ontario where D.A.R.E. is being implemented, said Ms. Johnston.

Officer Matthew Solano is shown teaching students drug resistance strategies during the inaugural DARE class at the Cal Aero Preserve Academy in Chino on Aug. 9. Chino Valley School District photo

Officer Matthew Solano is shown teaching students drug resistance strategies during the inaugural D.A.R.E. class at the Cal Aero Preserve Academy in Chino on Aug. 9.
Chino Valley School District photo

The drug abuse resistance program D.A.R.E. has returned to Chino elementary schools after 20 years, with a focus on healthy decision-making skills and self-advocacy.

Approximately 900 fifth-grade students in the Chino Valley Unified School District are participating in the D.A.R.E. program guided by the Chino Police Department this school year, said Andi Johnston, district director of communications.

D.A.R.E. is an educational program that aims to prevent drug use, gang membership, and violence.

The school district, which initiated D.A.R.E. in the late 1980s, discontinued the program in 2003 due to cuts in state funding, according to Champion archives.

The Chino City Council on Sept. 19 approved the $11,500 budget for the program that covers the curriculum workbooks and graduation shirts students receive after completion.

Chino Police Officer Matthew Solano is instructing this year’s program, which began Aug. 9 at Cal Aero Preserve Academy tracks C and D in Chino.

The program is being held over two ten-week semesters at all Chino elementary schools, with Newman, Briggs, Walnut, Cal Aero Preserve Academy, and Alicia Cortez in the first semester and Doris Dickson, Cal Aero Preserve Academy tracks A and B, Edwin Rhodes, Howard Cattle, Anna Borba and E.J. Marshall in the second semester.

Officer Solano said the program teaches students about risks and consequences, how to communicate effectively, and rely on their “help network.”

Students are taught how to adopt habits that promote mental and emotional health, not just physical health, he said.

A 45-minute D.A.R.E. class session begins with answering questions, watching a video or cartoon skit showing people going through situations or difficulties related to drug use, peer pressure, and bullying, and working in groups to figure out the best way to respond in those situations, Officer Solano said.

In week four of the program, students act out skits in resistance strategies, giving examples of how to resist peer pressure.

Officer Solano, who has previous experience as a high school resource officer, said he loves seeing the resistance strategy skits students come up with.

“Some of them are really quiet at the beginning but seeing them really open up and have a deep understanding of the concepts they’re learning is amazing,” he said.

The school district piloted the program last year at Levi Dickey Elementary School in south Ontario with Police Officer Jesse O. Hernandez of the Ontario Police Department as instructor.

This year, Liberty Elementary School, at 2730 S. Bon View Ave., is the only CVUSD elementary school in Ontario where D.A.R.E. is being implemented, said Ms. Johnston.

Key Addiction Points You Need to Know

Key Addiction Points You Need to Know

Substance use disorder (SUD) is the nation’s most pressing public health challenge, and the most urgent SUD in 2024 is opioid abuse and dependency. According to the CDC, more than one million people have died since 1999 from drug overdose…

Student becomes D.A.R.E. teacher

Student becomes D.A.R.E. teacher

Old Lyme resurrects drug prevention program for children
Meriden — At the Connecticut State Police Training Academy last week, Officer Stephen Hackett of the Old Lyme Police Department stood in front of a group of law enforcement colleagues who were playing the role…

Old Lyme Officer Revives D.A.R.E. Program After Two Decades Hiatus

Old Lyme Officer Revives D.A.R.E. Program After Two Decades Hiatus

Officer Stephen Hackett of the Old Lyme Police Department is set to become the town’s first Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) instructor in over two decades. With a new focus on skill-building, the updated D.A.R.E. program aims to empower the town’s youth to make responsible choices.

Mental Health Stigma: Life or Death

Mental Health Stigma: Life or Death

The pervasive stigma against people with addictions, particularly opioid use disorder (OUD), is a major problem requiring urgent attention in the United States. Stigma is likely at least part of the reason why only 1 in 5 individuals with opioid dependence receives…

D.A.R.E. Returns to Conway, Missouri

D.A.R.E. Returns to Conway, Missouri

The Conway Elementary School D.A.R.E. Graduation was held on January 25, 2024. Fifty-seven students successfully completed the program. Deputy Jesse Sherrer of the Laclede County Sheriff’s Office did a great job teaching them good decision-making skills to help his...

150-Plus Students Graduate Russell D.A.R.E. Program

150-Plus Students Graduate Russell D.A.R.E. Program

Russell Elementary students graduated from the D.A.R.E. program at Russell-McDowell Intermediate School on Monday. About 153 fifth-grade students — all wearing white shirts that read “keep kids off drugs” — filled the gymnasium early afternoon Monday to be recognized...

Students Graduate from D.A.R.E. Program at Mary Queen of Peace

Students Graduate from D.A.R.E. Program at Mary Queen of Peace

Four classes at Mary Queen of Peace in Mount Pearl have graduated from the RNC’s Drug Abuse Resistance Education program. The ten-week series of classroom lessons, led by an RNC officer to grade six students, teaches children how to live productive drug-free and...