The Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) keepin’ it REAL (kiR) Program is an internationally recognized drug prevention program based on Socio-Emotional Learning Theory (SEL). The D.A.R.E. keepin’ it REAL program identifies fundamental basic skills and developmental processes needed for healthy development including:
- self-awareness and management
- responsible decision making
- understanding others
- relationship and communication skills
- handling responsibilities and challenges
The curriculum uses this theory to teach youth to control their impulses and think about risks and consequences resulting in more responsible choices. If you can teach youth to make safe and responsible decisions it guides them to make healthy choices, not only about drugs, but across all parts of their lives. As they grow to become responsible citizens they will lead healthier and more productive drug-free lives.
The D.A.R.E. keepin’ it REAL program is taught by uniformed police officers partnered with classroom teachers over a 10-week period to school children in Grades 5 and 6 throughout British Columbia. The lessons build upon each other and allow students to develop their own responses to real life situations. The very first lesson starts with responsibility and introduces decision making with subsequent lessons applying these skills in increasingly complex ways to address drug use and other life choices.
The D.A.R.E. keepin’ it REAL program provides opportunities to establish positive relationships among police, children, parents, teachers and other community members.
The D.A.R.E. keepin’ it REAL program has been so successful in BC that it has become the foundation of the RCMP’s Community Prevention Education Continuum which is a community-lead, police-assisted, comprehensive youth drug prevention strategy encompassing youth from Kindergarten through to Grade 12.