Day one of D.A.R.E. 2010 at Lake Cowichan Middle School. I walked in ready to win them over and impart the wisdom of D.A.R.E. We started with introductions and one of the students mentions that they like Facebook and they are doing really well on Farmville.
Always eager to find something in common with my D.A.R.E. students, I mentioned that I like Farmville too and the conversation takes off from there. They wanted to know my Facebook name and could they be my friend on Facebook.
We share gifts on Farmville and chat back and forth with each other about D.A.R.E. and all of the other things 12-year-olds like to talk about. It affords me the opportunity to share their successes and adventures with them as they are happening.
I didn’t have to wait until D.A.R.E. class to congratulate one of my D.A.R.E. kids on winning the Hector MacIntosh speech contest, and I was able to give an
attaboy to one of the girls for stopping a string of what was about to turn into bullying before it went too far.
What I also like about this new way of communicating with my D.A.R.E. kids is that they get to see my family pictures, and be a part of my life. They see that we (the police) are just regular people like them, with families that go on vacation and celebrate birthdays, etc. It makes us human and so much more than just another police officer delivering another program.
Facebook affords me opportunity to be a responsible adult in their world outside the classroom, and D.A.R.E. Grad won’t be the end for me and the class of 2010. I get to see them every day on the other end of my key board. If they need me or just want to share something, I am as close as the click of a mouse.
Cpl. Krista Hobday, Lake Cowichan Detachment