By JOSH NICHOLS
Daily Press writer
Those who "dare" can contribute to an educational program that teaches children the dangers of peer pressure involving drugs, alcohol and other high risk activities.
At 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Moffat County High School auditorium, a music/magic variety show will be held and the proceeds from the event will be donated to the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program (D.A.R.E.).
Carolyn Wade, school resource officer, said the money collected from the show will be used for supplies and materials given to students throughout the 17 week D.A.R.E. program.
Wade said students loved the variety show last year, and people can register for prizes a giveaways donated by local merchants. D.A.R.E was a program created in the early 1980s to educate children on the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse. The program was started in Moffat County in the late 1980s.
D.A.R.E. is taught in sixth-grade science classes during the spring, but the class is far more encompassing than just teaching children about drugs, Wade said.
"One misconception of D.A.R.E. is that it deals with just drugs," she said.
"It also teaches students socials skills and ways to watch out for themselves."
Standing up to peer pressure is one of the main themes of the course, Wade said. Combatting the pressure to shoplift and have sex are also issues that are discussed in the course.
The age group chosen to participate in D.A.R.E. was not a random selection.
Sixth graders are at the age where they will soon be exposed to parties and pressures to try drugs and alcohol, Wade said.
Children also seem to enjoy the course, Wade said, and many students say Wednesday (the day the class meets) is their favorite day of the week.
"I've gotten wonderful feedback from parents and students," Wade said.
Many of the programs implemented in the 1980s to combat the "war on drugs" have come under criticism as being a failing effort. For example, the recent Hollywood movie, "Traffic," provided a vivid interpretation of a drug war that is being lost in United States, an interpretation that many individuals in the federal government were asked to sit down and watch.
Wade said it is difficult to gauge the effects of a program like D.A.R.E., but said judging by students' reactions and participation in class, it is having an effect.
"Watching the kids and how involved they get in the class I have to say it does make a difference," she said.
The pressures are out there, and students are being provided with techniques to fight the pressures, Wade said.
"We've learned that drugs are going to be around," Wade said. "If we can keep one or two students from getting involved with drugs and alcohol we're making progress."
Wade said she has passed out free tickets to students at all the grade schools and free tickets are available at several local businesses including Kum & Go and City Market.
Adults interested in attending the show can buy tickets at the door Wednesday night.