Drug Abuse Resistance Education program officers provided elementary students a 10-week program on drug education at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.
This year, four schools - Ursa Major, Ursa Minor, Mount Spurr, and Aurora elementary schools - participated in the program, with more than 140 students graduating.
“It was fun, a good experience and I learned a lot,” said Lorelei Grigg, one of the students participating in the program.
The program helps students understand how important drug resistance education is and teaches different ways to solve problems, said Raiden Toms-Moonin, another student.
“The program is important because it’s teaching and educating the students on real-life skills that will help them not just now, but through high school and beyond,” said Michael Crerend, lead police officer with the 673d Security Forces Squadron and D.A.R.E. officer.
Responsibilities, positive and negative consequences, and communication skills mayor areas of focus for the students, Crerend said.
Teaching students how to break down each individual situation to make good decisions and wises choices is also part of the program, Crerend said.
"If we can impact at least one or two of the youth, it’s a success,” said Crerend.
The D.A.R.E. program helps children learn methods for problem-solving and decision-making in difficult situations, said Sarah Gotschall, fourth- and fifth- grade teacher at Ursa Major Elementary. “It builds a foundation for really important skills as they move into adolescence.
“It impacts the students by making them more confident in their own ability to handle a difficult situation if and when it arises, because they’ve had those practice opportunities.
"I'm grateful our students have access to the program," Gotschall said.