For three days, parts of Miami may have been mistaken for Hollywood.
Chosen as one of three cities in the United States to take part in a pilot program for Drug Abuse Resistence Education,
Miami hosted the “Connect with Kids” film crew Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Connect with Kids is award-winning, video-based programming with a proven peer-to-peer format featuring real kids sharing their true stories about today?s adolescent issues.
The programs include teaching resources that facilitate meaningful student discussion, student self-reflection, and cross-curriculum integrated learning.
Students from Miami High School took part in interviews, role playing and reenactments involving drug and alcohol use among their peers.
“This is a rare opportunity,” said DARE officer Ken Brodrick. “Miami was chosen as one of three cities where this video will be filmed.”
The other two are Pittsburgh, Pa., and Atlanta.
Film crews interviewed high school students about their experience with being pressured into using drugs or alcohol.
The filmakers sponsored a pizza party at a Miami residence where reenactments were filmed.
On the final day of filming, additional reenactments were shot at Waylan’s Ku-Ku and a basketball game was used as a backdrop for more scenerios.
“The interviews and scenerios filmed will be used, combined with those taken in Pittsburgh and Atlanta, to produce a video used in the DARE program world-wide,” Brodrick said.
Each year millions of school children around the world benefit from the highly acclaimed program that gives kids the skills they need to avoid involvement in drugs, gangs, and violence.
DARE was founded in 1983 in Los Angeles and has proven so successful that it is now being implemented in 75 percent of school districts nationwide and in more than 43 countries around the world.
Over the course of the past three years, more than 220 communities have started new DARE programs.
DARE is a police officer-led series of classroom lessons that teaches children from kindergarten through 12th grade how to resist peer pressure and live productive drug and violence-free lives.
“The D.A.R.E. program is proven,” said Brodrick.
Drug use among youth decreased 25 percent between 2001 and 2008, according to a study conducted by the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research.
Medical research indicates that the DARE curriculum is highly effective in prevention of smoking. Students that completed the D.A.R.E. program were five times less likely to start smoking.
compared to youngsters who did not participate in D.A.R.E.
“It doesn’t work for everyone, unfortunately,” said Brodrick. “But schools who use the program have seen a considerable decline in tobacco, drug and alcohol use among children.”
Brodrick said he is not certain when the latest video will be released but he will be using it as part of his local D.A.R.E. program.