GROVELAND — After a 12-year hiatus, the Groveland Police Department has reinstated its Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program, and Detective Josh Sindoni completed his first class at the Dr. Elmer S. Bagnall Elementary School this week.
On Monday, Jan. 8, Detective Sindoni visited the school’s kindergarten classes as part of an eight-week curriculum centered on helping students make responsible decisions.
In October, Detective Sindoni completed two weeks of D.A.R.E. training with the New Hampshire Fire Academy in Concord and is certified to teach the D.A.R.E. curriculum, which addresses drug use, violence, bullying, internet safety and other issues that impact students’ lives.
During his first week with students, Detective Sindoni went over the procedure for dialing 911. Simulating different scenarios, kindergartners learned when they should and should not call 911 using a thumbs up or thumbs down. Detective Sindoni also stressed the importance of learning their home address, as it will be the first thing a dispatcher asks for on a 911 call.
“The first session went great,” Detective Sindoni said. “All the kids were excited about learning and were engaged in the activity.”
Over the next several weeks, Detective Sindoni will return to each of Bagnall Elementary School’s kindergarten classes, educating students on topics including stranger danger, prescription drugs, bullying and understanding street signs.
Detective Sindoni’s work at the elementary school marks the revival of Groveland’s D.A.R.E. program, which was in place from 1993 to 2006 under the leadership of Lt. Dwight McDonald until it was halted due to lack of funding.
“We’re excited to have D.A.R.E. up and running after more than 10 years without it,” Chief Jeffrey Gillen said. “Through this program we’re reaching students at a young age to not only educate them about the basics of keeping themselves and others safe, but to help them make responsible and positive decisions into their adult lives.”