D.A.R.E is Substance Abuse Prevention Education and much more!

This year millions of school children around the world will benefit from D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education), 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 and has proven so successful that it has been implemented in thousands of schools throughout the United States and 50+ other countries.

D.A.R.E. is a police officer-led series of classroom lessons that teaches children from kindergarten through 12th grade how to resist peer pressure and live productive drug and violence-free lives.

The Roxana Police Department has been fortunate to certify three officers as D.A.R.E Officer’s since the program began in the department in 1986. Chief Richard Farthing (retired) was the department’s first D.A.R.E. officer. In 1992, Chief Dennis “Jim” Smith (retired) began his tenure, which spanned 15 years until 2006. Chief Smith also taught the Junior High Program for approximately four years and even taught one year in the Madison-Venice School District.

In 2006, Lt. Will Cunningham became a certified D.A.R.E. Officer and has continued teaching the program. Lt. Cunningham was also certified in the Junior High and High School curriculum; he taught the Junior High program for two years. In 2009, the Junior High program was discontinued due to funding issues within the State and school district. 

In 2013, Lt. Cunningham was promoted to Chief of Police and continues teaching the elementary curriculum. Chief Cunningham has taught not only at Central Intermediate School but South Primary for two years and one year at Hartford Elementary. 

Since the Roxana School District transitioned to Attendance Centers, all Fifth Grade D.A.R.E. classes are taught at Central Intermediate School. Each year approximately 130 Fifth Grade Students receive the D.A.R.E. Program and become D.A.R.E. Graduates. 

D.A.R.E. activities not only include classroom instruction; the D.A.R.E. students receive a presentation of the Madison County Juvenile Detention Home, and watch a K-9 demonstration. 

A fun activity is our annual D.A.R.E. Dance, at the Rox-Arena inside Roxana Park. But one of our favorite activities is the annual St. Louis Cardinal D.A.R.E. Night at the ballpark. This gives families from Illinois and Missouri the opportunity to buy tickets for the ball game at a greatly reduced price. This activity is coordinated by Officer Doug Schaeffer of the Alton Police Department. 

The D.A.R.E. students and their family members get to parade on the field prior to the game. One lucky D.A.R.E. student is selected to remain on the field, throw out the first pitch, and then get a photograph with a St. Louis Cardinal Player and Fred bird. 

The Roxana Police Department and Roxana School District are fortunate to have Phillips 66 Refinery, Republic Services, Hit N Run Store, and Wood River Walmart as our corporate program sponsors. We also have local sponsorships that provide annually to our D.A.R.E. Program; Trickey’s Service Inc., Roxana Fire Department, Roxana Ladies Auxiliary, Marine Corps League, Roxana Park, and Recreation, Ma’am Doyle Designs, Wood River Dairy Queen, and Mustache March 4PD. 

The program’s success would not be possible without all of our sponsors. Thank you for your continued support.