Program helps educate

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 10, 2003

Students and their families turned out at Riverside Arena Saturday to raise money for the DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program. The Rotary Club sponsored a bike-a-thon and area students collected pledges for the event.

When all of their pledges were added up, students, parents and community members raised more than $9,100 for the program.

The bike-a-thon is the local DARE program's largest fund-raiser of the year. The program educates students about illegal drug use, as well as negative effects of tobacco and alcohol. Local law enforcement officers come to classrooms for 16 weeks of the school year.

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There has been some debate on whether the 20-year-old program reduces teenage drug, tobacco and alcohol use. Because there are other factors in a child's life, measuring the effectiveness of the program is difficult.

But we would rather have children receive some sort of education about harmful drugs than none at all. Until there is another program that is proven to reduce drug abuse, the DARE program should continue.

We congratulate those who helped to keep this educational program going.