UCS, local police departments promote “smart” choices for all sixth graders
UCS, local police departments promote “smart” choices for all sixth graders
Posted on 11/02/2018
Police officer asking students to raise their hands

Through a continued partnership with local law enforcement, all UCS sixth graders are taking part this year in preventative programs focused on positive decision making.

“Keeping our students safe remains a top priority for our community,” Superintendent Dr. Christine Johns said.  “Thanks to the collaborative work with local police, these efforts include providing all sixth graders with clear messages about making the right choice at an important moment in their lives.”

The Sterling Heights Police Department is introducing Skills Mastery and Resistance Training (SMART Moves), this year through a nine-week program at 13 schools.

Students will continue to receive Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) in Shelby Township and Utica from the Shelby Township Police Department. Also, the Macomb County Sheriff’s Department provides DARE instruction at Macomb Township elementary schools.

Both programs are focused on the importance of decision making and address issues such as bullying, substance abuse and responsible use of digital devices. SMART Moves content includes such topics as friendships and healthy relationships, refusal skills and media influences.

SMART Moves is being offered to students at seven UCS schools now through November 26. The remaining six schools will have their programs in early Spring.

“As a young officer I was fortunate to teach the DARE program for several years. I can tell you with first hand knowledge how influential a police officer can be in the classroom, especially when talking about making the right decisions and the harmful effects of drugs and alcohol,” said Sterling Heights Police Chief Dale Dwojakowski. “The partnership between the police department and the school district is absolutely vital and I could not be any prouder of the officers who teach this program and the lifetime lessons they are teaching our young people.”

The DARE program is offered in the Spring.

“The new ‘keepin’ it Real’ DARE curriculum is a science-based program aimed at providing kids with methods for resisting drugs and violence, as well as making positive decisions and fostering positive relationships throughout life,” said Shelby Twp. Police Chief Robert Shelide. “DARE and Smart Moves are similar programs that both serve as tools for our departments to make solid, lasting connections with the children and families in our communities.”

The prevention programs support the continued collaborative work of UCS and local law enforcement for training and review of the district’s Unified Security and Emergency Management Plan.