Making the right choices

Christine June
U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern

***image1***One of Dava Oliver’s tricks to keep the Drug Abuse Resistance Education
class fun sometimes even catches her off guard. But, but her
fifth-grade students never miss a beat.

The trick is, that anytime she says the phrase D.A.R.E. planner, the
students immediately yell out: “D.A.R.E. Planner; we love our D.A.R.E.

Founded in 1983 in Los Angles, D.A.R.E. gives students the skills they
need to resist peer pressure and to live productive drug and
violence-free lives.

“D.A.R.E. is a proactive and preventive program assisting students in
resisting pressures which may influence them to experiment with
alcohol, tobacco or other drugs,” said Mrs. Oliver, U.S. Army Garrison
Kaiserslautern Provost Marshal’s Office D.A.R.E. instructor.

The 10-week course features situational lessons and contains topics
dealing with drugs, tobacco, alcohol, friendship foundations and peer
pressure. The D.A.R.E. planner is the workbook students complete during
every lesson.

“It not only teaches them the dangers of drugs and alcohol, but it also
helps them with decision-making processes and ethics problems,” said
Will Nelson, Landstuhl Elementary Middle School fifth-grade science
teacher. “It’s about real-life situational things they will deal within
their future lives.”

The program returns to the KMC after a two-year hiatus. Ms. Oliver
started it up again Jan. 10 in fifth-grade classes at LEMS and Sembach
Middle School.

***image2***“At my other school in Boston, they just gave us bookmarks and stuff,
and told us not to do drugs, but here, we learn more about it,” said
Sophia Martin, 10, LEMS fifth grader and D.A.R.E. student. “My favorite
part of D.A.R.E. is learning about drugs so I won’t do it when I get

Later, Ms. Oliver also will teach fifth-grade students at
Kaiserslautern American Elementary School, and Vogelweh Elementary
School. Her plans for next year are to include the seventh-grade and
possibly, a D.A.R.E. introduction class to fourth-grade students at
most of the KMC schools.

“It’s vital for students, parents, teachers and the community to bring
forth their efforts in making this program a success in our community,”
said Mrs. Oliver, who has law enforcement and school resource officer
experience as a deputy sheriff in Sumter, S.C.

“It literally takes a village to raise our children, and we all have to do our part.”