D.A.R.E. America Launches New High School Curriculum

by Meredith Cooper

LOS ANGELES -- Just in time for the new school year, D.A.R.E. America has launched a new curriculum for high school students.  Entitled myPlaybook, the course has been created through an alliance between D.A.R.E. America, Prevention Strategies, LLC, an official affiliate of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and REAL Prevention.  Grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Windsong Trust provided funding for its development.

myPlaybook is an evidence-based program shown to reduce alcohol and drug use among high school students.  Students who completed the myPlaybook High School curriculum experienced:

  • Greater improvements in skills to resist drug offers;
  • More accurate perceptions that friends view drug use as unacceptable;
  • Decreased intentions to use alcohol and cigarettes in the next 30 days; and
  • Reductions in prior month's alcohol use

Like all other D.A.R.E. courses, myPlaybook is taught by highly trained law enforcement officers with one significant difference – as a web-assisted curriculum designed to afford continued positive officer/students interaction, it actually reduces the demands upon law enforcement personnel resources. The D.A.R.E. officer delivers two lessons – the introduction and conclusion; students complete the rest of the course on-line.

myPlaybook engages students with interactive tools and is delivered using state-of-the-art instructional design that is engaging, interactive and fun – students do not just simply read and click through information; instead, they are required to answer questions, make predictions, and evaluate their own behavior.

Comprised of two components, one for members of the general student body and a separate component specifically for use by student athletes, myPlaybook meets many state Standards of Learning for health education and has been used successfully in 9th/10th grade health classes.  As one high school student who completed the curriculum commented, "We saw the brain and how drugs can affect it and your memory. The lessons were easy to understand because of all the pictures."

Launched in 1983, D.A.R.E. is a comprehensive K-12 education program taught in thousands of schools throughout America, as well as in 52 other countries. D.A.R.E.'s official mission today is teaching students good decision-making skills to help them lead safe and healthy lives.  While D.A.R.E. curricula address drugs, it also focuses on violence, bullying, internet safety, and other high risk circumstances that could be a part of a student's daily life. For more information, visit www.dare.org.

Image Courtesy of www.dare.org