The Board recognizes the resource role of retired Brantford Police Services Chiefs Bob Peeling, Ray Fitzpatrick, Derek McElveny and Jeff Kelner. We also recognize and appreciate the advice and guidance of former Chief Geoff Nelson.
In 1998, The D.A.R.E. board was formed in conjunction with the Brantford Police Services to support young people in learning problem solving and social skills for conflict resolution to resist experimentation with tobacco, drugs and alcohol while establishing positive and productive relationships with law enforcement officers. The program, which was American based, was delivered in grade 6 classrooms by uniformed law enforcement officers.
While the program was beneficial for students and meaningful at the time, as the world in which our young people were living has changed, the program no longer effectively supported student needs for skills and knowledge to navigate current social and technological challenges.
In 2015, the Board of Directors adopted the K.I.D.S. (Knowledge, Issues, Decisions and Supports) program. This Canadian based program is dynamic and responsive to the social learning needs of the students in our community. The program is designed to build understanding and provide specific strategies to respond to personal, peer and social challenges.
At the same time, the new T.I.C.K. Inc. Board of Directors sought additional opportunities to revisit the critical messaging of the program with more mature students, resulting in the Secondary School Student Leadership Program. Through this initiative, students in City of Brantford high schools have the opportunity to receive funding for student led initiatives that are consistent with the messaging of the K.I.D.S. program. At the same time, the poster contest for secondary students was refashioned to better reflect the use of technology in creating effective messaging with young people.
In 2019, the K.I.D.S. program underwent a significant update and revision to keep pace with the changing realities and challenges of our youth and respond to changing social pressures and practices, specifically issues of metal health, the legalization of cannabis, vaping, technology and social problem solving and responsibility. The current program, developed using the best practices identified by the Joint Consortium for School Health, is the result of extensive collaboration with educators, public health, school board consultants, law enforcement personnel and a university researcher to create a meaningful and comprehensive learning experience for students, with follow up and consolidation activities for teachers and parents.
The program is now delivered in the form of five modules. The modules focusing on Mental Health and Healthy Relationships are delivered by Public Health nurses in two sessions held in the home school classrooms. Modules dealing with Online and Social Media, Youth and the Law and Substance Awareness are delivered by the Brantford Police Service Elementary School Resource Coordinator in a full day interactive learning experience hosted at the Children’s Safety Village. This is a universal access program, delivered without charge to students or schools. Funding from the T.I.C.K. board provides for transportation to the Children’s Safety Village for the off-site learning experience, certificates of program completion and t-shirts. In our last program year, the program was delivered to 1,400 grade 6 students attending public, separate and private schools within the City of Brantford.
We recognize and thank the dedicated group of law enforcement professionals who have delivered the D.A.R.E and K.I.D.S. programs to Grade 6 students from the inception of the program to 2019. We recognize and value the positive impact that they have has on the lives of so many children in our community.