DAREd to right choices (from our mid-year print edition)

5TH GRADE CLASSROOMS — With the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program starting soon, fifth graders have different opinions about it. This year, Pelham Police Officer Brian Hendrie is running the program as he has for eight years. He has been a police officer for 14 years.

DARE is when Officer Hendrie teaches all the fifth graders about the importance of not taking drugs or drinking alcohol. The students watch videos that explain issues mainly about kids and then they write what they learned in their DARE notebooks.

“DARE envisions a world in which students everywhere are empowered to respect others and choose to lead lives free from violence, substance abuse and other dangerous behaviors,” according to the organization’s website.

In DARE, the fifth graders also learn how to define, access, respond and evaluate a problem, which they then solve in their notebooks

“I think DARE is cool and it presents a good message, but I think Officer Hendrie should get a new Darren because his glory days are over,” said Felix Caminiti.

Darren the Lion is the DARE mascot.

Timothy Magambo said, “DARE is pretty fun, I like the videos because they leave you in suspense.” He rates it an 8 out of 10.

“I think DARE is fun,” said David Forte. “I really like Darren the Lion because when you get him, you get him for the most of the class.”

Every class, Officer Hendrie asks a question, and if you answer it correctly, you get Darren at your desk. Darren is starting to rip, and Officer Hendrie said he needs to get a new one.

Officer Hendrie first wanted to be a police officer when he was 20 years old and when he was in college. He said that before he wanted to be a police officer, he wanted to have his own radio show.

His favorite part about being in the police is working with the community and he likes teaching DARE to the fifth graders.

Daniel Berkery said, “DARE is fun, but I don’t like that we have to write an essay at the end of the year because that probably won’t be fun, but I like the situations and the videos.”

“I like DARE because we got to do crazy roleplay, and I also like the crazy situations,” Ben Blake said.