Dare Iowa
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2018 Iowa DARE Conference,  Decorah, Iowa
July 15th-17th. 

2017 Iowa DARE Conference, LeMars Iowa.

The annual business meeting and elections were held on Tuesday June 20th.

Click HERE to review the minutes from that meeting.

The 2018 DARE Iowa Conference will be held at Decorah Iowa.

(L to R) Mr. Stepans two brothers and mother, Mr. Stepans,

DARE Instructor Deputy Tim Felton, Sheriff Dan Marx, Deputy Todd Schmitt,

E911 Supervisor Charlene Schmitt, Iowa State DARE Coordinator Deputy Terry Dehmlow

and Iowa DARE Association President Officer Sara Hendrickson.

Turkey Valley teacher wins Iowa DARE Educator of the Year.

Sixth grade teacher and coach Dan Stepan was selected as the Iowa DARE Officers’ Association 2017 Educator of the Year.  On Tuesday, September 11, 2017, Turkey Valley School held an assembly to recognize and honor Mr. Stepan for his commitment to education and the Winneshiek County DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) Program. 

The Winneshiek County Sheriff’s Office has been committed to the DARE Program since 1991, and it is an honor to work with educators like Mr. Stepan.

DARE Iowa Winning Essay 2017

Delanie Wright

6th grade Elenore Roosevelt Middle School

Dubuque, Iowa

DARE to Dream


                I walk home from a long, tiring while tapping my feet on the thick cobble stone and on the road, I spot a cigarette. I sigh in disappointment. DARE has taught me how harmful those tiny, little cigarettes are. They taught me that it kills a lot of people and it has a substance called “nicotine” that makes people get addicted to it. Then, I start walk again trying to get away from it. Once I finally get home I flop on the couch and pull a checkered blanket around me. Then. I closed my eyes and fell into a deep sleep. Then, I am suddenly in a vibrant colored dream. I look around and see a bright kindergarten playground with the swings and yellow slide swooping into a swirl. Then, I gaze down at my feet and see the bronze colored woodchips crunch under my feet.

                Not knowing this was a dream, I climbed the blue stairs towards the top of the giant slide. Then I stopped in my tracks and hear a faint yelling coming from the south end of the playground. I whip my head around to find a girl screaming as three tall boys encounter her. I quickly changed direction and ran back towards her, making woodchips fly into the humid air behind me. As I approach the circle of boys, I hear them calling her names like “nerd” and “weirdo.” Using the DARE decision making model I learned in DARE, I said “why are you guys calling her these mean names?”

                A brown-haired boy turned his head away from their target and towards me and shouted, “this is none of your business, leave!” I frowned at him and stood there anyway. I had to do something. I couldn't’t just be a bystander. In DARE they taught me that it is the right thing to do when helping a target stop the bullying. So, that’s what I’m going to do, after making my decision, I gazed down towards the target who had tears running down her cheeks like waterfalls. Then, I looked into her eyes and saw them asking me to help her and I smiled to reassure her.   

                 I asked again, “why are you guys being so mean to her?”

                Then another bout from the pack answered me finally and said. “Because she won’t do our homework for us!”

“But it’s your responsibility to your homework done on your own,” I said, remembering what DARE said about being responsible.

                The boys all pondered for a moment and then responded, “we all just get stressed out with all the homework we get every night, so we thought it was easier just to make her do it. “ 

                “Well this girl here doesn't’t get stressed out with it. What are the things you do to not get stressed?”, I asked trying to help the boys understand that they can control the amount of stress they have.

                The girl thought for a moment and answered, “well DARE has helped me deal with my stress by helping me learn some signs of stress is I feel really angry that means I just have to calm down and take a deep breath. Knowing the first signs of stress help me stop what I’m doing and just cool down. “wow, that’s pretty fascinating!” “I never knew that but now I do, all because of DARE.”

                The boys comprehended that and we stood there for a while waiting for a response from hem. Then, later one boy held out his small hand and responded, “sorry we were bothering you so much. We just didn’t know how to handle it. Thanks for helping us.”

                She took his hand and he pulled her up off the pointy woodchips. As she was wiping off woodchips from her shirt she said empathetically, “hey, it’s no problem! After all I think everyone gets stressed once in a while. “after saying farewell to the group of boys, Casey, and I, After I had finally learned her name, went for a walk around the playground perimeter. Casey told all of these fascinating stories and experiences and I listened to every single detail. DARE has taught me how important it is to listen to others and how it feels when people aren’t listening to you. It made me feel neglected and abandoned and I would never want my friends to feel that way.

                While Casey was in the middle of her story on how she saved her dog from getting hit by a car, in a sudden flash I was in a dark, grey alley walking with a bag of groceries in my hand. It was eerie and scary and every shadow I saw being casted on the discolored brick wall, I jumped frantically. When I was three-fourths through the mucky alley I saw, kids standing in a huddle in a corner. Curiously, I peered in to the middle of the circle to see what they were looking at. It was drugs. I darted out of the alley and screamed making the kids whip their heads toward my direction. DARE has taught me that drugs are very bad and harmful. They also taught me some ways on how to resist peer pressure. DARE has taught me a lot of valuable life skills I can use in years to come.

                Then, I awoke lying in the same place I had when I fell asleep. I’m glad that was just a dream. My DARE to dream is that one say the next generation will be drug free. I also dream that they will listen to others, resist peer pressure, and put a stop to bullying. That is my dream and I sure do hope it succeeds.