Popular drug abuse program has been absent for several years
GALION — Galion City Schools, in partnership with the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office, is bringing the DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program back to Galion. It will be part of the curriculum at Galion Middle School at the start of the 2017-18 school year.
It will be taught to current sixth grade students for 10 weeks.
The last time the DARE program was in the district was 2005.
“The decision to restart the DARE program was made because Galion Middle School was the only school in Crawford County that did not have it,” said Crawford County Sheriff’s Deputy and DARE instructor Chris Martin. “I felt it was important that every student in Crawford County have the opportunity to experience DARE. ”
When Holy Trinity in Bucyrus stopped offering school, the sheriff’s office started looking for opportunities to expand the DARE program in the county. The idea to have DARE in all the schools has always been Martin’s goal.
“DARE curriculum is important, starting with kindergarten through the sixth grade ,” said Crawford County Sheriff Scott Kent. “Due to Deputy Martin being in nine schools, we knew that time would not allow us to bring the DARE. program to all ages at Galion right now.”
Martin teaches DARE curriculum at Buckeye Central, Colonel Crawford, Crestline, Bucyrus, Wynford, St. Bernard’s in New Washington, Crestline St. Joseph, Sacred Heart School and Galion Middle School. Countywide. Martin teaches up to ten classes daily, reaching more than 2,500 students a year.
“We want to reach as many children in Crawford County as possible and provide the opportunity to participate in a program that makes them feel good about making positive choices, even though that might not be the popular choice,” Martin said. “By having DARE in every possible school, we feel we are providing positive support for every child we reach in the program.”
The Crawford County Sheriff’s Office has been providing DARE. to children in Crawford County for 28 years. Former Sheriff Ronny Shawber and Deputy Tim Ley started DARE in 1989. When Ley retired, Martin volunteered to step in and take over.
“I’m excited to have the DARE. program back,” said Galion Superintendent Jim Grubbs. “I want to thank Sheriff Kent and Deputy Martin for their dedication to helping our children learn how to make good decisions in the face of challenging situations.”
The DARE program in Crawford County is funded through a grant from the Ohio Attorney General, which pays for half of Martin’s salary. However , public donations allow Martin to purchase classroom materials and t-shirts for the kids.
“At our graduations, all students wear their t-shirts. I t gives them a sense of unity,” Kent said. “When I talk to students, I compare their shirts to the uniforms we wear at the sheriff’s office and explain that we are all the same and together and take care of one another.”