D.A.R.E. was founded in 1983 by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), which faced an overwhelming drug use problem among juveniles and saw the need for a program to educate children and young adults about the destructive realities of substance abuse. Teaming with the Los Angeles Unified School District, the LAPD sent specially trained police officers into classrooms to teach middle school students how to resist peer pressure and make positive decisions. Since that beginning 20 years ago, D.A.R.E. has grown to reach 36 million students in more than 300,000 classrooms in the United States and around the world. Today, D.A.R.E. programs are taught in 80 percent of our Nation’s school districts.
D.A.R.E.’s in-school curriculum focuses on giving children practical skills to avoid becoming involved in drugs, gangs, and violence. D.A.R.E. officers serve as supportive role models and encourage young people to develop healthy self-esteem. D.A.R.E. also helps young people in the critical after-school hours through D.A.R.E. P.L.U.S. (Play and Learn Under Supervision), a follow-up program that serves as a safe and fun alternative to the local streets. D.A.R.E. P.L.U.S. is designed to encourage middle school students to start taking responsibility for their actions and to engage in activities other than drug use.
In 1994 DAREN became the Official D.A.R.E. mascot. DAREN represents strength and courage to say NO to drugs, alcohol and violence and YES to good decisions.
In 1979, many Americans thought they could do little about crime. Most viewed crime as inevitable and its prevention as the job of police. But in 1980, something changed.
In 1980, McGruff came along with his motto, "Take a Bite Out of Crime." People began to change their minds and take charge of crime prevention themselves. Today, more than three out of four Americans believe they personally can take actions to reduce crime, and that their neighborhoods and communities can act to prevent crime.
Since 1980, McGruff’s been working to make crime prevention everybody’s business. These days, you can see McGruff’s messages on TV, on the Internet, in printed materials, and of course through numerous personal appearances across America.
In 2005, McGruff the Crime Dog celebrates 25 years of helping Americans create safer and more caring communities.
Everyone has the ability to make her or his community safer. "How To Help McGruff" is a guide for engaging children (ages 6-12) in service projects that will make their communities safer and better and, at the same time, help them develop the life skills they need to stay safe, make healthy choices, and develop en ethic of responsibility for self and others.
The topic of community service is particularly relevant today. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush asked each American to devote time to serving his or her community. This call seeks to create a habit of service that can be fostered even in children. President Bush led the formation of the USA Freedom Corps to provide motivation and support to individuals as they engaged in service opportunities. The USA Freedom Corps supports the work of Ameri Corps and the Peach Corps, which have been promoting service for decades. Other organizations coordinate a variety of annual events that focus national attention on service, including Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service; National Youth Service Day; National Volunteer Week; Join Hands Day; United Day of Service; Make a Difference Day; National Kids Care Week; and National Family Volunteer Day. We hope that the projects outlined in this guide will inspire you and the children with whom you work to participate in some of these national events.
The guide includes several project ideas. You can search for projects based on topic of interest or children’s ages, and you can link to sites that contain more information on the crime prevention topics addressed through the projects. Materials, such as project planning sheets, are available for downloading from the site.
NASRO is a member service organization. Students and communities around the globe receive the benefits of NASRO’s wide-reaching network of law enforcement members and school administrators all striving to promote a safe and secure learning environment.
The National Association of School Resource Officers was founded with a solid commitment to the youth of the United States. Since 1990, our commitment remains solid to promote the TRIAD concept (Law Enforcement Officer – Teacher – Counselor) of school based law enforcement. Many communities have adopted this philosophy as they blend their SRO program, with the many other community policing programs.
By training law enforcement to educate, counsel and protect our school communities, the men and women of NASRO continue to lead by example and promote a positive image of law enforcement to our Nation’s youth. NASRO has made itself available to communities and school districts around the nation in the development of effective school based law enforcement partnerships.
NASRO provides the basic and advanced school resource officer training around the nation. By providing this training, school resource officers share the same ideals and concepts in providing a safe school environment.