D.A.R.E. IS SUBSTANCE ABUSE PREVENTION EDUCATION AND MUCH MORE!
This year millions of school children around the world will benefit from D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education), the highly acclaimed program that gives kids the skills they need to avoid involvement in drugs, gangs, and violence.
D.A.R.E. was founded in 1983, in Los Angeles, and has proven so successful that it is now being implemented in 75 percent of our nation’s school districts and in more than 52 countries around the world.
D.A.R.E. 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.
Through the collaboration between the Lexington R-V School District, Lexington Police Department and the Lafayette County Children Services Fund, D.A.R.E. has been brought back into the district. This collaboration was renewed after one year of not having a D.A.R.E. Officer available. The D.A.R.E. Keepin’ it REAL curriculum is being taught this school year (2018-2019) to 5th and 6th graders at Lexington Middle School. Additional D.A.R.E. lessons concerning the opioid epidemic were presented at Lexington High School. Prior to the end of this school year, D.A.R.E. lessons will also be taught at the Early Childhood Center and Leslie Bell Elementary. D.A.R.E. is being taught to our students by School Resource Officer and D.A.R.E. Officer Andrew Beckfield of the Lexington Police Department.
D.A.R.E. vehicles are utilized as a powerful symbol to spread the message of D.A.R.E. in the schools and community as a whole. D.A.R.E. vehicles can be commonly seen at car shows, parades, school events and integrated into D.A.R.E. lessons being taught. In 1996, Lex La-Ray received the donation of a prototype 1991 Acura NSX from Honda of America, through I-CAR (Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair). During the donation of the vehicle, both seats and the PCM (computer) were removed. The donation was to provide students a platform of education for automotive repair. The removal of the computer meant years of waiting to have the technology available to restore the vehicle. The Acura NSX is recognized as both a super car and dream car. The specific NSX Lex La-Ray received as a donation was the sixth NSX ever made, less than 10,000 were made between 1991 and it’s final year of production in 2005 (until it was redesigned and re-manufactured in 2016).
Officer Beckfield and collision repair Instructor, John Harden, had early discussions about using the donated NSX as a D.A.R.E. car, serving as an educational opportunity for automotive students at Lex La-Ray and as a tool to spread the message of D.A.R.E. Those discussions led them to conversations with Honda of America NSX Specialists, whom gave the approval for the venture. Officer Beckfield then approached Sarrah Morgan, Lex La-Ray Director; Billy Cobb, Director of Operations; Dr. Jeff Levy, Superintendent and Lexington Chief of Police Charles Grom for approval to seek community support for the venture. Everyone approved and Officer Beckfield secured support from JAMZ Muscle Cars of Lexington, MO after they viewed the NSX in person. JAMZ has provided all parts to allow the resurrection of the NSX after sitting for over two decades. Rodney Wolken’s auto tech classes were tasked with installing the donated PCM (computer) and new spark plugs, as well as change the oil and belts. Rodney Wolken’s classes then drained the old gasoline and replaced it, at which time, the car started up without hesitation. Now, Rodney Wolken’s classes are going through the car, identifying parts needing to be replaced and making mechanical repairs. Additionally, Mr. Wolken and Mr. Harden’s classes are competing with each other to pick wheels and tires for the car This fun competition is being completed as an assignment to determine what will fit, where to find the wheels and tires and how long shipping will take. Their submissions will be voted upon, which will then be presented to JAMZ Muscle Cars for final approval. Once Wolken’s classes are done with mechanical repairs, the NSX will be taken over to Mr. Harden’s classes for body repair. This opportunity is allowing for students from ten school districts to work on an extremely rare, two-seater, mid-engine car. Mr. Wolken, Mr. Harden and Officer Beckfield have also been in discussion with welding instructor Mr. Day about opportunities for his class to work with the car as well.
Upon completion of the vehicle, the car will be seen around the schools, while being integrated into D.A.R.E. lessons, parades, car shows and school events. The car will be adorned with bold D.A.R.E. graphics and Lexington Schools, Lexington Police and JAMZ muscle cars graphics showing their support. The car will also sport all blue emergency lights as a nod to GO BIG BLUE!
It is the hope that the car will be an ongoing project, affording that many more Lex La-Ray students the opportunity to work on such a rare car. You will be able to find updates on the progress of the car and find out where and when you will be able to see the car in person right here.
The Lexington R-V School District, Lexington Police Department, City of Lexington, MO, Lafayette County Children Services Fund and JAMZ muscle cars (and many more in the community that we are excited to discover) see the value of D.A.R.E. and are happy to bring it back into our schools and see its full potential through this creative community partnership.