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We DARE you

By Staff
Melissa Cason
Franklin County Times
The Franklin County Drug Awareness Resistance Education (DARE) program received a boost from local governments and the Alabama Legislature.
Sen. Roger Bedford presented DARE Officer Mike Franklin and Franklin County Sheriff Larry Plott with a check for $1,000 yesterday to fund the Franklin County DARE program.
Bedford said the funding came from the Alabama Legislature's Discretionary fund.
Franklin added in addition to the state funding the DARE program received a $500 donation from both Red Bay City Council and Vina Town Council also this week.
"We appreciate every penny donated to the DARE program," Franklin said. "We are dedicated in educating our youth about drugs and alcohol."
He added that in addition to the recent funding, the Russellville City Council donates $250 per quarter to the DARE program to help educate students about the dangers of using alcohol, marijuana and tobacco-the three starter drugs.
Franklin said that money pays for the classroom materials for the program as well as the certificates, awards, and prizes earned by the students as well as funds the DARE field trip at the close of the semester.
Students have to complete 16 lessons with a 70 percent or higher and complete an essay about what they like most about DARE before graduating from program.
Franklin said that the program is currently in four classes at Russellville Elementary, two classes at Phil Campbell Elementary, one class at East Franklin Jr. High School, and two classes at Tharptown School.
"I split the schools up into two groups," Franklin said. "I work with half the schools in the first semester and the other during the second semester of the school year."
While the DARE program is not new the county, there are some new aspects to this year's DARE program as family discuss is being added to the curriculum.
"We wanted to encourage communication about drugs and alcohol within the family so we added the family talk sheets to the class," Franklin said.
He added that five times during the course of the program, each student will take home a sheet to help parents talk to their children about drugs and alcohol. The sheets must be signed by the parent and returned to school.
"Some teachers are giving bonus points, or offering little rewards for students who complete the family talk form." Franklin said. He added that a section on gangs and bullies have also been added to the curriculum.

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