Some of the DARE graduates in the first-ever class in Clyde River were, from left, Lucassie Kunillusie, Gina Paniloo, Eleena Kautaq, Helen Apak, Krista Jaypoody, Reepa Apak and Leanne Sanguya. Back row: RCMP Const. Eric Ootoovak and Grade 5 teacher Elizabeth Parsons taught the DARE program to the students. - photo courtesy of Const. Randy Slawson
They are the first group in Clyde River to complete the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program. DARE teaches students the harmful affects of drugs, how to deal with peer pressure, and other life skills.
Cpl. Randy Slawson, who taught one of the classes, said he saw a lot of change in the students from when they started the program in September.
"What we saw was that the students started to open up to us," he said. "I think there is more of a relationship between the youth and the RCMP now."
Slawson said that building a relationship with the youth is probably one of the biggest benefits of the program.
"The students have a chance to see us having fun. We're not just officers," he said.
Slawson explained that because this was the first year of the program, it will take some time to see the benefits. He added he is confident that it will become popular in the community.
"If they don't have the information they don't know what is good or bad," he said.