“We don’t just give the students facts,” stated Constable John Leach. “We give the students the tools to make good choices in life.” Dare is a program set up through the RCMP and the school system to help youth be prepared for the challenges of peer pressure and life itself. Last year, Vermilion Forks School was unable to have the program because the RCMP member, Constable Mike Leiding, who had been teaching it to the students transferred to another detachment.
Vermilion Forks School was very glad to have the program up and running again and proud of their graduates. “This program is about giving kids the knowledge to resist drugs and violence,” said Constable Kelcy Slocombe. “It is our hope that this program will help kids live healthy and rewarding lives. DARE stands for Drug Abuse Resistance Education. This year the RCMP worked with Mr. Smith’s Grade 5/6 split class, Mr. Miller’s Grade 5 class and Mrs. Tarswell’s Grade 6 students.
Leach and Slocombe had to take a two week training course in order to qualify as DARE instructors. The program started in the new year of 2011 and was a complete success. “This was my first year doing the program,” Slocombe stated, “but is went well. The kids learned a lot of facts and can use those facts to make healthy choices in life, not just in school.”
Each graduating student was given a certificate and a t-shirt. “The program helps us build positive relationships with the students,” said Leach. “We want the students to feel they can come and talk to us about whatever afterwards without being uncomfortable and we want them to be able to make good decisions about how to conduct their lives. The DARE program helps us accomplish that.”