Drug Abuse Resistance Education Director Doug Maifeld poses with some of the fifth graders after last year’s culmination event.


RUMFORD — For the first time since 2019, a Drug Abuse Resistance Education culmination celebration will be open to the families of RSU 10 students in the program.
Sponsored by the Rumford Police Department, this year’s 36th DARE event will begin at 9:15 a.m. in the Muskie Auditorium at Mountain Valley High School.
Instructor Doug Maifeld, in his 30th year, said he’s “Just happy (the event) will be open to families, with a change during the day so no student is forced to miss out.”
Last year, Maifeld worked it out so he didn’t miss a class being taught DARE, with two culminations shown live over Facebook, one on May 13 for the sixth graders and another on June 3 for the fifth graders.
This year’s program for fifth graders had 88 students over 15 weeks, with a new lesson taught about social media.
Maifeld said, “DARE created a lesson on Social Media to talk about being safe in line and addressing concerns with cyberbullying, mental health, online challenges and students sending inappropriate pictures.”
At one of last year’s culminations, Maifeld talked to the students about bullying and self-esteem.
“Bullying is still a big issue. It’s not part of the curriculum, but I kind of threw it in. I heard a public service announcement on the radio once that said it takes 10 seconds for the bullying behavior to stop, if someone speaks up,” he said.
After participating in the new curriculum, students will be able to:
* Exercise self-control, particularly when under stress and pressure. It will teach them to control their emotions, avoid impulsive behavior and think critically about their experiences in order to plan a drug-free life.
* Identify the risk and consequences of their choices. The curriculum prepares them for the rapid changes and challenges they are about to face, including the increasing presence of drugs in their lives, by teaching them to evaluate the risks and consequences of their choices.
* Make safe and responsible decisions. The DARE Decision Making Model continues to be central because youths need to understand how to think clearly and critically about the choices they face and, perhaps more importantly, plan for the ones they are about to face.
* Communicate more confidently and effectively, his developing strong relationships with peers, family and authority figures.
* Become safe and responsible citizens by learning how to help others and know how to get help. Youths of their age cannot do everything alone, so the new curriculum stresses safe and responsible ways to give and get help.


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