Officer McQuivey celebrates
10th year teaching DARE
By Kacie Reese
Jan. 25, 2018
EPHRAIM—Education comes in many forms, and teaching people the dangers to avoid can be one of the most challenging.
Yet it can also be immensely rewarding as Ephraim Police Officer Jeff McQuivey knows as he celebrates his 10th year of teaching the drug abuse resistance education program (DARE) in the county.
McQuivey has been teaching the 10-week program to the fifth-grade students at Ephraim Elementary School, and they graduated from the program on Jan. 12.
Although McQuivey didn’t have the DARE program when he was going through school, he learned about it when his good friend invited him to watch some of his presentations.
His friend was the DARE instructor for a number of schools in north Sanpete County, and McQuivey’s response to seeing these presentations was, “I felt like it was a great program. I did some research and found that it was a contributing factor to kids succeeding.”
He also said one of the important parts of the program is it gives students the facts, so when they get older they can make informed decisions.
For the past five years, McQuivey has presented the DARE program at Ephraim Elementary. Before that, he taught the program at the elementary schools in both Ephraim and Manti.
The DARE program lasts about 10 weeks, with nine weeks of lessons about different subjects, such as tobacco, alcohol, peer pressure and confidence.
In addition to doing the bookwork, the students see videos and talk together about what choices they have when faced with the pressure to use drugs.
During the program in the past, some students have had the experience of being handcuffed, yet they did not do this activity this year.
About halfway through the program, the students participate in a relay race review.
They divide into teams. During the first five minutes, they race to see how many negative effects of drugs they can remember. During the next five minutes, the students race to see how many fun alternative activities they can think of to do instead of drugs.
“There’s always more on the good side than there is bad. They really like that,” McQuivey said about the relay race and the kids’ reactions.
In the 10th week, the students write a report on what they learned during the program, and they present it in front of the entire class. They’re told to write the report on what they thought was the most important topic they learned about.
The students talk about everything they’ve learned, McQuivey said, such as the different substances, peer pressure and violence. He added, “Then they talk about what they got out of the program and what they felt about it, and in the end they touch on how they’re going to live their life.”
During the 10 weeks, students also get to know McQuivey.
He works at Ephraim Middle School, which gives students more confidence to come to him for advice and help when they are faced with or see issues.
Spending so much effort to educate these students on dangers to avoid is only one part of the program.
Along the way, McQuivey is helping these students choose life—a higher quality of life and a greater enjoyment of life.
And students learn he’s approachable, building trust that they can rely on him for help if and when they need it, and that’s immensely rewarding for both McQuivey and his students.