WOODLAND PARK, NJ - The Woodland Park Police Department has launched LEAD - Law Enforcement Against Drugs - a new program, similar to now defunct DARE program, in local schools.
Officers Omaira Carino and Derrick Morrison recently underwent training to become LEAD program instructors. The program was launched in Beatrice Gilmore School to all fourth grade classes and will begin soon at Memorial School for eighth grade students.
The law enforcement led education curriculum, “Too Good for Drugs,” puts social and emotional learning to work through fun and interactive lessons, building the self-confidence students need to make healthy choices. Lessons focus on goal setting, decision-making, anger management, conflict resolution, peer-pressure refusal and more. The lessons let students learn, practice and master these essential life skills.
The character education process promotes a number of traits including caring, courage, responsibility, respect and cooperation. The program partners with parents as well, by sending home information that can help parents reinforce the lessons at home.
The program is presented in 10 lessons. The first unit is aimed at establishing and developing social and emotional competency skills. The second unit focuses on alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and the effects of their use on the body. Additionally, the students learn about refusal strategies, using over the counter and prescription drugs safely and how making healthy choices will impact their life-long wellness.