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This year millions of school children around the world will benefit from D.A.R.E., the highly acclaimed program that gives kids the skills they need to avoid involvement in drugs, gangs, and violence.

D.A.R.E. was founded in 1983 in Los Angeles and has proven so successful that it is now being implemented in 75 percent of our nation's school districts and in more than 43 countries around the world. Where traditional drug abuse programs dwell on the harmful effects of drugs, the D.A.R.E. program gives students the confidence and resources to resist the many subtle pressures that influence them to experiment with alcohol, tobacco, and drugs or engage in violent behavior.

D.A.R.E. touches on important issues affecting our children such as bullying, peer pressure, and effective communication. Students are given the opportunity to interact with each other as well as with their D.A.R.E. Officer on a weekly basis.

The City of Laconia D.A.R.E. program is conducted at Woodland Heights School, Pleasant Street School, Elm Street School, Laconia Christian School and Holy Trinity in the 5the grade.

In 2010 the Laconia D.A.R.E. program was also implemented in the Laconia Middle School. Students in the 7th

Grade are exposed to the supplemental lessons that are used to refresh strengths in resisting the pressure to use drugs. It also re-enforces the need to make good decisions on a daily basis and encourages the student’s to recognize where they can find help.

The Laconia D.A.R.E. program has received tremendous support over the years from local businesses and citizens; the positive response from the community has helped this program grow.

Laconia Police Department’s active D.A.R.E. Officer is Officer Michelle Cardinal.

Former D.A.R.E. Officers include: Captain William Clary, Sergeant Sharon Cavanaugh, Officer Donald Kimtis, Officer Kathleen Yale, and Officer Liza Levin.

Please visit DARE's Website for more information and fun activities to do with your family!