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Youth Services


Drug Abuse Resistance Education

It is a ten-week program taught to all fifth grade students who attend school within the municipal boundaries of the City of Winter Haven. The D.A.R.E. program reaches children at the age where they are most receptive to drug prevention.

DARE Graduation Banner
2019 D.A.R.E. Graduation was held to celebrate the accomplishments of all the fifth graders. There were 10 essay winners who received a gift card and a ribbon

DARE Essay Winners - Ten fifth graders

(Brigham Academy)

Brayden Fleming

(Elbert Elementary)

Brianna Martinez

(Garner Elementary)

Zarmiah Destino

(Jewett School of the Arts)

Lily Simmons

(Inwood Elementary)

Mey Lang Szeto

(St. Joseph’s School)

Molly Hutchinson

(Winter Haven Christian)

Dave Bonner

(Grace Lutheran)

Jaidah Hall

(Chain of Lakes Elementary)

Julia Ulch

(Cypress Junction Montessori)

Aeryn Thomas

Project D.A.R.E. seeks to prevent adolescent drug use and reduce drug trafficking by eliminating the demand for drugs. D.A.R.E. provides students with the tools they need to build a better life and a brighter future.

  • The program teaches children to identify and resist social pressures to use drugs. D.A.R.E. instills a sense of self-confidence and the will power kids need in order to resist drugs.
  • The D.A.R.E. program was taught by Officer Terry Bowden of the Winter Haven Police Department from 1994 until his retirement in 2016, when Officer Kris Bhoj took the reins.
  • Over 9100 students have successfully completed the D.A.R.E. program since its inception. This program has tremendously impacted our community.
  • D.A.R.E. Officer Kris Bhoj visits kindergarten through fourth grade classes, conducts faculty workshops, actively participates in community projects and presents programs to Parent/Teacher organizations.
  • D.A.R.E was originally developed by the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles Unified School District in 1983. Conceived on the premise that prevention is the only long term answer to our drug problem, this innovative program is now being taught nationwide and in forty countries.