Chillicothe Student Resource Officer Eric Menconi completed the DARE DOT program on September 24th. DARE DOT stands for Drug Abuse Resistance Education DARE Officer Training.
Menconi says drug prevention continues to be the main topic of DARE, but the program has grown to cover a wide range of topics. Lessons include dealing with peer pressure and stress, bullying, online safety, and effective communication.
DARE instructor training involved 80 hours at the Missouri Police Chief Association in Jefferson City. Menconi reports that in two weeks the class mastered the skills of team building, outlining, developing, and presenting lesson plans designed for kindergarten through 12th-grade students. The program also includes enhancement lessons for high school students, parents, and other community programs. Class members were invited to Blair Oaks Elementary School where they taught lessons to first through fourth-grade students.
Menconi says he met on September 27 with administrators and counselors at the Chillicothe and Field elementary schools to work to start DARE lessons beginning in October for students in first through third grade. He will also meet with someone at Dewey Elementary to start working on scheduling the core DARE program for fifth-grade students, which Menconi hopes to begin in January.
Menconi notes the goal is to implement programs in each building in the district in kindergarten through 12th grade.
The Hedrick Medical Center Foundation sponsors the program, and Lindy Chapman organized a fundraiser to get the program started. As of September 28th, $950 had been raised of the $3,000 needed for start-up funds. Donations for DARE can be made to the Hedrick Medical Center Foundation, Chillicothe Police Department, or Chillicothe R-2 School District.