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FOUNTAIN VALLEY : Grant to Extend DARE in Schools

Though money allocated by the city for drug-prevention education in local schools ran out this summer, the program will continue for three more years, thanks to a state grant awarded earlier this month.

“What it means is it’s helping us to keep the DARE program going, and we don’t have to make any cutbacks in programs,” Police Chief Elvin G. Miali said.

Officer Michael R. Becker, who teaches the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program, said the city will receive $100,000 a year for the next three years.

The City Council last week agreed to contribute $10,000 toward the program this school year, a requirement to receive the grant. The city’s share will come from assets seized in narcotics cases.

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Becker said the grant money, which comes from the state Office of Criminal Justice Planning, is a godsend.

“It came at a good time,” he said. “We want to continue the program so everyone has the opportunity to learn the techniques to resist offers of alcohol and drugs and have the experience of getting acquainted with an officer in the classroom.”

In 1989, the council decided to make the DARE program a top priority. More than 4,000 students in fifth, sixth and seventh grades have completed the program.

This school year, Becker said, the program will be taught to about 1,300 students in fifth and seventh grades at 11 schools.

Becker said the grant will enable the program to expand this year to include eighth-grade students.


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