National Middle School Association Letter
Supporting new Curriculum
"keepin' it REAL" Ranked Among Top 3 Most Cost-Effective Prevention Programs-- in a Study by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
An independent, federally-funded cost effectiveness study evaluating prevention programs reported that " keepin' it REAL" was ranked among the top 3 overall with a cost benefit of $28 in benefits for every $1 spent.
“We are gratified that D.A.R.E. is partnering with us to further disseminate kiR”, said Dr. Hecht. “D.A.R.E.’s recent decision to transition to the kiR elementary school curriculum was based on the abundance of evidence which has accumulated over years, that kiR is effective and incredibly cost efficient”, continued Dr. Hecht.
Dr. Hecht receives the D.A.R.E Champion Award
for his valuable contributions to the prevention of substance use
and problematic behaviors among youth
"keepin' it Real" is an evidence-based prevention program
The Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program, the pioneer prevention effort founded in Los Angeles in 1983, is going high-tech, interactive, and decision-model-based. Gleaming with the latest in prevention science and teaching techniques
"keepin" it Real"
The multicultural keepin’ it REAL curriculum has proven effective in reducing adolescent alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco use in 7th and 8th grade students by:
- Preparing students to act decisively in refusing offers to use drugs
- Helping students recognize risks and avoid drug-related situations
- Building strong decision-making, communication, planning and assertive refusal skills
- Empowering youth to value their own perceptions and feelings and make choices that support drug-free values
keepin’ it REAL is based on research begun in 1989 which examines how youth are offered and competently resist drug offers as well as how they assess risks and make good decisions. Applying a narrative prevention approach developed by Michelle Miller-Day and Michael Hecht, stories from youth were collected and transformed into ten interactive lessons using videotapes and other highly involving teaching techniques.
The core of the program is the REAL strategies for resisting drug offers: Refuse, Explain, Avoid, and Leave. By highlighting these four methods of communicating, the program helps kids understand the risks of drugs, teaches them to make good decisions and resist the temptation to use drugs.
Features of the curriculum:
- 10 lessons delivered over a 10 week period
- Lessons all run 40-45 minutes
- Lessons promote interaction between students and teachers
- Lessons feature fun activities that involve students in their own learning
- Lessons offer students the opportunity act out the REAL Strategies of Refuse, Explain, Avoid, and Leave
- Curriculum uses a series of five videos produced by youth and based on students’ real stories as a key learning tool.
D.A.R.E. America President & Chief Executive Officer
The "New" D.A.R.E. middle school program - "keepin" it Real" is setting the gold standard for the future," says Charlie Parsons, President and Chief Executive Director of D.A.R.E. America, "Prevention inside the 21st century school house will need to be effective, diverse, accountable, particularly with the safety issues that have emerged since Columbine and terrorist alerts. That's one reason why every New D.A.R.E. officer is also being trained as a certified School Resource Officer (SRO)."