(Winston County Journal) – Staff reports – Students in the Louisville Municipal School District and Winston Academy fifth grades will have an additional helper in learning how to face the pressures of drugs and alcohol in their school and community. The Louisville Police Department recently received a DAREN, the DARE Lion, as a donation from the Town of Noxapater and Noxapater Police Chief Ronnie Graham. “We are extremely grateful to Chief Graham and the town of Noxapater,” said DARE Officer Tonya McWhirter. “This is another visible avenue to use to help the children in our community.” The fifth grade students gain this knowledge each week during the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program.
DARE officers from the Louisville Police Department spend time in the classroom outlining the importance of students believing in themselves and making good decisions such as staying away from drugs of any kind. “The main purpose is to help kids be able to make healthy decisions, not just about drugs, but all areas of life,” said lead DARE Officer Tonya McWhirter.
The 10-week course is specifically directed at the Grade 5 students to prepare them for entry into junior and senior high where they are most likely to encounter pressures to smoke, drink, and/or use drugs. Students learns through games, role-playing, discussion and group activities as well as question and answer periods with the DARE Officer. At the end of the program each students will write an essay about what they have learned about the program, create posters and hold a graduation ceremony.
The fifth grade graduation ceremony is set for Friday, April 8 at Louisville Elementary School. The Louisville DARE program is in its 21st year and aims to give students the skills to make good decisions by resisting illegal drugs and peer pressure. With the addition of DAREN the Lion, the LPD hopes to further build its relation to the children.