The return of D.A.R.E. to Anne Arundel County was announced by County Executive Steve Schuh, Anne Arundel County Public Schools Superintendent George Arlotto, and Police Chief Timothy Altomare. D.A.R.E., which was part of the county schools’ curriculum from the 1990s to 2003, will be taught at Annapolis, Corkran, and Lindale middle schools starting in February this year.
Anne Arundel reboots a retooled D.A.R.E. drug education program
From Capital Gazette
The Annapolis Police Department began an effort at Eastport Elementary School at the beginning of the school year.
The program was part of the curriculum in county schools in the 1990s until the 2002-2003 school year when it was cut due to budget restraints at the same time research questioned the program’s effectiveness.
Since then two things have changed, officials said Friday. The D.A.R.E. program has changed its curriculum focus from a lecture format to one that engages students in role-playing and other interactive exercises, adopting the precepts of a program called “Keepin’ it REAL.” The acronym stands for Refuse, Explain, Avoid and Leave.
And two — the intensity of the drug crisis has reached public health emergency status.
Altomare looked at the statistics.
“These are empirical enough for me. D.A.R.E. stopped in the 2002-2003 school year. In the three years leading up to that school year, we had a grand total of 104 overdoses in Anne Arundel County,” he said.
“In the three years leading up to today, we had a grand total of 2,215 overdoses, an increase of 349 percent.”
But he said that does not reflect the number of people who have died. “In 2015, when we really started paying attention, we lost 51 souls. Last year (2016) we lost 119. And in 2017 we lost 155 people.”
He said part of the problem was education. “No one was telling them how risky it was to start down that path.”
The event also included the unveiling of an official D.A.R.E. county police car with graphics designed by children from the Freetown Boys & Girls Club, some of whom attended and received a round of applause. They also got a ride in the vehicle after the event concluded.
Arlotto welcomed the program as a supplement to work already being done in county schools.
“Our schools have refocused our efforts in engaging students in lessons and discussions about character, making good decisions and the perils of drug and heroin use,” he said. “We are glad to bring back D.A.R.E. to augment and enhance those efforts and are glad to have the additional resources.”
Altomare said the D.A.R.E. program helped a generation avoid drugs. “Re-instituting it will be pivotal in preventing countless students from walking down the long, dark path of addiction.”
Schuh agreed. “Getting to young people to help them to understand dangers of these drugs and helping them to never never become addicted in the first place is how we will overcome this in the long run.”
Anne Arundel County reinstates D.A.R.E. program in schools
Millersville – The Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E) program is being reinstated in Anne Arundel County Public Schools.
County Executive Steve Schuh, Anne Arundel County Public Schools Superintendent George Arlotto and Police Chief Timothy Altomare announced it Friday.
The program is aimed at teaching students good decision-making skills and help them lead safe and healthy lifestyles.
“Education is the key to ensuring the next generation of Anne Arundel County citizens understands the dangers of heroin and opioids,” said Schuh.
The program will start with students at Annapolis, Corkran, and Lindale middle schools and will be taught by specially trained officers.