D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) is a collaborative effort by the Maryland Heights Police Department, educators, students, parents, and community to offer an educational program in the classroom to prevent or reduce drug abuse and violence among children.
The D.A.R.E. Program offers preventive strategies to enhance those protective factors-especially bonding to the family, school, and community-which appear to foster the development of resiliency in young people who may be at risk for substance abuse or other problem behaviors. Researchers have identified certain protective and social bonding factors in the family, school, and community which may foster resiliency in young people, in other words, the capacity of young people for healthy, independent growth in spite of the adverse conditions. These strategies focus on the development of social competence, communication skills, self-esteem, empathy, decision-making, conflict resolution, sense of purpose and independence, and positive alternative activities to drug abuse and other destructive behaviors.
The Maryland Heights Police department has one full-time officer, Bob Heitert, that instructs D.A.R.E. in the Pattonville School District. The officer visits a total of five elementary schools located within the city. The officers visit not only the fifth grade students, but also conduct visitations to all the grade levels from kindergarten through fourth grade.
For additional information about D.A.R.E., visit www.dare.com.