Kids DARE Web site
The Hays Police Department initiated Project D.A.R.E. in 1993. This school based drug abuse reduction program not only focuses on the use and misuse of drugs, but the growing threat of violence that is gripping our nation and community.
To date, the Hays Police Department has provided this program to approximately 3000 students in Hays, making it the department's most far-reaching initiative, youth or adult.
D.A.R.E. is taught in all Hays public schools and in the one Catholic parochial elementary school, reaching approximately 300 students per school year. The core curriculum is designed for those students that will be moving on to middle school the next school year, typically the 5th grade in Hays schools. By focusing on this exit grade, officers are able to provide the knowledge and skills to enable these young people to resist the temptation to use drugs or react violently to problems. A kindergarten through 4th grade curriculum is also provided that focuses mainly on personal safety.
Each 5th grade DARE school year ends with a culmination, a celebration of the completion of lessons. Leaders and role models from the community are invited as special guests, with the student's parents attending and enjoying the festivities. Past special guests have included city commissioners, city managers, law enforcement officers from around Ellis County, USD 489 administrators, state and national political leaders, military, athletes, and many others.
The Hays Police Department currently has two officers that are certified as DARE instructors OFC Jeff Ridgway and OFC Brian Dawson. Both of these officers attended the 80 hour DARE Officer Training, conducted by the Kansas DARE Training Center, a requirement for certification.
Officers are members of the Kansas DARE Officer's Association, which conducts in-service and continuing education training for DARE Officers throughout the state.
In the 10 years of existence in the Hays schools, DARE has modified the core curriculum twice. These modifications are the result of the national organization's vigilant efforts to keep Project DARE relevant in today's ever-changing world.
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