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In 1984 Chief Larry Winfrey made the recommendation to the Mayor & Board of Aldermen that we look into the new drug prevention program D.A.R.E.
The City agreed with Chief Winfrey and Officer McGrath was sent to the training in Jefferson City. Officer McGrath attended and graduated from the State of Missouri's 6th D.A.R.E. class.
The first class taught at West Platte Elementary was in the 1984-1985 school year by Missouri State Trooper Greg Baker. In the 1985-1986 school year, Officer McGrath started teaching the second D.A.R.E. core class and has taught the Elementary program and the Jr. high program ever since. The Weston Police Department has 1 other trained D.A.R.E. officer, Kasey Keesaman.

Few logos of not-for-profit organizations in the United States are more recognized than that of the D.A.R.E. program. Familiarity with the D.A.R.E. logo, however, doesn't necessarily translate into an understanding of D.A.R.E.'s mission and programming. Today's D.A.R.E. may not be the D.A.R.E. with which you are familiar.
Since 2003, D.A.R.E. America has engaged in a total organizational renewal:
  • * New leadership
  • * An expanded organizational mission
  • * A five-year strategic plan developed with the UCLA Anderson School of Business
  • * Increased research activities to maintain program efficacy
  • * New science-based curricular components
  • * New training model and instructional methodology
  • * Comprehensive programming with greater flexibility at the local level
  • * Reinvigorated advisory groups, such as the prestigious and active Law Enforcement Executive Board
  • * Funding opportunities for local D.A.R.E. programs

The new D.A.R.E. "keepin' it Real" curricula focus on the abuse of gateway drugs (tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, and inhalants). The program offers a preventive strategy to enhance protective factors, especially bonding to family, school, and community which research has shown to foster the development of resiliency in students who may be at risk for substance abuse or other problem behaviors. The program employs the use of the D.A.R.E. decision-making model in which students are provided skills to use in developing and assessing choices they make in life.

Students build skills to :

  • D - Define problems and challenges
  • A - Assess available choices
  • R - Respond by making a choice
  • E - Evaluate their decisions

The D.A.R.E. Instructor, using techniques of facilitation - gone are the days of the didactic lecture - guides students as they work in small cooperative learning groups using the D.A.R.E. decision-making model to apply to real-life situations. The new D.A.R.E. elementary curriculum has been reduced to 10 lessons and a menu of enhancement lessons implemented. The enhancement lessons provide local jurisdictions the ability to customize their D.A.R.E. program to meet identified needs. Many enhancement lessons will be developed, among those currently offered are gangs, methamphetamines, internet safety, bullying, and cyberbullying.

The most recent addition is the D.A.R.E. Rx/OTC (prescription/over-the-counter) Drug abuse materials. The D.A.R.E. Rx/OTC Drug Abuse materials include lessons for elementary and middle school, high school, and community presentations.

The new Keepin' it Real D.A.R.E. program starts each year in January. The current 2014 D.A.R.E. class consists of 41 kids in the 7th grade. This year's D.A.R.E. class is a makeup class from last year. Because of scheduling problems at the school the 24th D.A.R.E. program was not taught until this year. The 8th-grade D.A.R.E. program is taught in December of each year.

D.A.R.E. was founded in 1983 in Los Angeles and has proven so successful that it is now being implemented in 75 percent of our nation's school districts and in more than 43 countries around the world.

A special thanks to the following business and people for donations to the D.A.R.E. program over the many years. Their donations help purchase the tee shirts for the kids and the entertainment at the graduation. Platte County Sheriff's Department, Employees of the KCP&L, Bank of Weston & District 11 State Representative Galen Higdon.