LCSO adopts CHAMPS curriculum for elementary schools

| July 29, 2016

lowndes county sheriffs office

VALDOSTA – Sheriff Chris Prine is proud to announce the newest and most exciting addition to its School Resource Officer program. When the children return to school this year, the Sheriff’s Office will be teaching the CHAMPS curriculum in each of the county elementary schools.

The CHAMPS program, which stands for Choosing Healthy Activities and Methods Promoting Safety was developed by the Georgia Sheriff’s Association in 2003 to meet the challenges facing our youth today. It is more than just a drug education program; it is a student curriculum that focuses on multiple areas that are important to address and is positive change in the way students are educated on the risks of drug abuse. It also incorporates broader topics on safety and decision making skills. Lowndes County Sheriff’s deputies who are School Resource Officers will teach the new curriculum primarily to students in the fifth grade.

The CHAMPS program was chosen to supplement the DARE drug education program primarily due to the expanded content of the curriculum which is relative to students in our community. Sheriff Prine began considering this new approach in 2014 as the CHAMPS program made positive developments, became a viable asset and increased in popularity statewide. The DARE program was initiated by Sheriff G. Robert Carter in 1991. That program served as the format for teaching drug abuse education for 25 years in Lowndes County.

Sheriff Prine said, “It was an effective and positive program for the time that it served, but as every generation grows and society evolves, we have to implement programs that are better suited for addressing our community’s needs.” CHAMPS covers additional topics such as ATV safety, water safety and firearms safety. It is also provides a flexible format that allows the most current drug abuse trends to be discussed. There is no expected increase in the cost of operating this educational program.

This summer, Sheriff Prine sent deputies to the CHAMPS instructor training where they were provided the most current instruction in teaching and presentation techniques of this program. “The implementation of this program is an exciting time. We hope to provide an educational program for our youth, which provides guidance, and the skills, ability and knowledge to be safe, healthy, and happy, in preparation for a successful life” said Sheriff Prine. Questions about this program, or any other can contact the Sheriff’s Office at {229} 671-2950; or anonymous tips can be provided at {229} 671-2985 or on-line at www.lowndessheriff.com. The Sheriff’s Office is also accessible on Facebook.

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