D.A.R.E returning to Raleigh County Elementary Schools

Sgt. David Bailey of the Beckley Police Department is restoring the D.A.R.E. Program to Raleigh County Elementary Schools.

First started in 1983, D.A.R.E. is focused on teaching our youth good decision-making skills to help them lead safe and healthy lives through adulthood.

It’s been years since the D.A.R.E. Program was active in West Virginia. The revamped program has begun to make a comeback. Bailey remembers everything about his own D.A.R.E. instructor.

“I knew that I could go to him if I had any problems,” he said. “That’s one thing I’m excited for is to build these positive relationships with these kids and if they have any kind of problems or questions they have somebody they can reach out to.”

It may be decades old, but the Beckley Police Department is launching a D.A.R.E. program at Raleigh County Elementary schools to combat the multitude of current high-risk scenarios.

Bailey was inspired to bring back the dare program because he thinks we need to be more involved with the youth. Beckley Police administration, City of Beckley officials and Raleigh County Board of Education were all on board with his proposal.

“Loved the idea, all the elementary school principals and counselors that I’ve talked to support it 100 percent, they want that back in the schools,” the sergeant said.

He is excited to bring D.A.R.E. to the classrooms, targeting fourth and fifth-grade students.

“I’ll be doing it in all four of our elementary schools within Beckley city limits (Crescent Elementary, Maxwell Hill Elementary, Beckley Elementary, also Stratton Elementary),” said Bailey.

The program helps kids with societal issues, safety on the internet, bullying and more.

“What this dare program ‘keeping it real’ focuses on — it’s not just the effects of drugs and what they can do,” the sergeant said. “This also touches base with a lot of other stuff that these kids can use, not only today but as they grow up and go through school.”

According to Bailey, he has fond memories of his time in D.A.R.E.

“I enjoyed that program; I learned a lot from it,” he said. “I want to pass that on to today’s youth to let them experience that same thing.”

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