Wake Schools, Raleigh Police partner to replace DARE program

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The Raleigh Police Department and the Wake County Public School System partnered to create a new program to replace the aging D.A.R.E. Program.

The Leader Program teaches students about making positive choices in their complex, everyday lives.

D.A.R.E focused mainly on drug and alcohol abuse.

“Our kids live such complex lives and what they experience on a day to day basis is very different today,” said Raleigh Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown.

Fifth graders at Stough Elementary said the new program allows them to know other kids may be going through similar problems.

The creators of the program are still tweaking it to help meet the needs of students across the city.

“You do surveys of the students and surveys of the parents. The long term effects are a little harder to put your finger on,” said Wake County Superintendent James Merrill. “I mean, how you assess that a 10th grader does or doesn’t do something as a result of what they received in fourth grade?”

Although this program is strictly in 44 Raleigh schools right now, Merrill hoping it can be expanded eventually to all Wake County schools.

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