Rock Rapids, Iowa — A special program aimed at substance abuse prevention started twenty years ago in Lyon County.
The national program, called D.A.R.E. stands for Drug Abuse Resistance Education, and Lyon County Sheriff Stewart Vander Stoep has been the instructor for the full twenty years since it was implemented in Lyon County in 1995. He says the D.A.R.E. program is taught to 5th and 6th grade students throughout the county.
Vander Stoep says they also talk about peer pressure.
He says the program has changed over the years. He says it started out as a program telling kids about all the different kinds of drugs, and why they’re bad.
He says they changed it about ten years ago, and in the past few years they have changed it again and now talk about the things that cause young people to use drugs. One of the main points is the D.A.R.E. Decision Making Model.
The Sheriff says the model works for all decisions a person has to make. He says after people have done it for a while it becomes automatic. He says he likes that because people that think about their decisions make better decisions and those who make good decisions usually stay out of trouble.
On Monday, February 8th at 6:00 p.m. the 20th D.A.R.E. class from the George-Little Rock School will graduate. This year’s speaker will be Cheryl Buntsma. Cheryl is a certified prevention specialist from Compass Pointe Behavioral Health. Certificates of completion will be given to each student by Sheriff Vander Stoep.
The graduation will be held in the commons at the middle school in Little Rock. Parents, grandparents and the general public are invited to attend.