County lieutenant teaches D.A.R.E.

Jackson County Sheriff’s Department Lt. Adam Nicholson recently kicked off his second year of teaching the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program.

Nicholson currently teaches a 10-week program to Medora and Crothersville fifth grade students. St. John’s Sauers Lutheran School is taught on an every other year rotation due to its class being a combination of fifth- and sixth-graders.

Over the course of the program, kids learn skills to avoid involvement in drugs, gangs and violence. It ends with a graduation ceremony.

“I’m just glad to be back in the classroom sending a positive message to the kids. I was worried I would be doing the lesson online this year, which wouldn’t have been as good of an experience for them or me,” Nicholson said. “I decided to provided them all with a mask so we could have the classes in person and safely.”

During class, Nicholson could be seen giving out D.A.R.E. face masks to his students, who also received stickers, pencils, erasers and their D.A.R.E. workbook.

Fifth grade students aren’t the only beneficiaries of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department’s D.A.R.E. program.

Last year, with Sheriff Rick Meyer’s approval, Nicholson sent out D.A.R.E. scholarship applications to Jackson County schools and was able to provide two $500 scholarships for students at Brownstown Central High School, Seymour High School, Medora High School and Crothersville High School for a total of $4,000.

“That was something Bob Lucas started years ago, and I was happy to be able to continue it,” Nicholson said. “Bob had a good system going with the program and kept the budget in good shape, which has led to us being able to offer the scholarships to graduating seniors in our county schools.”

Nicholson was certified to become a D.A.R.E. officer in the summer of 2019. He had to complete a two-week training program at Riverside Intermediate School in Fishers with 18 other officers, including Brownstown Police Department’s Jac Sanders.

The training included about 10½ hours of daily class time and two to three hours of homework each evening. It included public speaking, lesson planning, written testing and more.

As a Brownstown Central High School student, Nicholson served as a D.A.R.E. role model for Officer Lou Coryea, the D.A.R.E. officer at the time.

D.A.R.E. is not a part of the county’s budget, and the program relies on private donations. Nicholson has donated money to help the program.

Crothersville Elementary School fifth-grader Cheaney Groenenboom holds Daren the Lion on Wednesday, the first day of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department Drug Abuse Resistance Education program. Submitted photo