June 25, 2017
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400-plus Grade 6 Students Graduate from D.A.R.E.

Posted on April 22, 2017 by in Alberta, Canada, D.A.R.E. Comeback, Hometown, Hometown International, News

Between STAR Catholic and Black Gold School Division, more than 400 Grade 6 students graduated from the DARE program on April 19. Each student received a certificate from their DARE instructor and School Resource Officer Cst. Neil Muz.

After three years of absence, this year’s Grade 6 students graduated from the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program.

New school resource officer Cst. Neil Muz reintroduced the program into City of Leduc Schools. He has been teaching the course for the last 12 years in every community he’s been posted in and has seen a lasting impact on students.

“D.A.R.E. is a 10-week course primarily designed to teach at the Grade 6 level — even though it could be taught at every grade — the risks of drug and violence, how to make the right choices, how drugs, alcohol and smoking can have a negative effect on your body, peer pressure, bullying and how to report a bully,” said Muz, adding it’s also a great way to get students acquainted with police in a positive environment. “Every session a uniformed officer goes into the class. It builds a good rapport between police and youth.”

Between Black Gold Regional Schools (BGRS) and Saint Thomas Aquinas Roman (STAR) Catholic School Division, 411 Grade 6 students made it through the program. To graduate, they must have been in good standing and followed the D.A.R.E. guidelines for the duration of the course. At the end they wrote a report on what they learned and include a pledge on how they will live a healthy lifestyle. They’ve also created posters on what D.A.R.E. is about and Muz has selected a winner from each of the 16 Grade 6 classes, as well as a grand winner from the entire program overall. Ultimately, the hope is what they learned through D.A.R.E. now will empower them to make good choices down the road, Muz says.

“We can’t make force them to live that lifestyle but we can give them choices and let them know the harmful effects of some choices, he said.

D.A.R.E. is a non-profit program and runs on donations to the program.

This article by Nouran Abdellatif is from Leduc Rep.

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