OSWEGO – Nearly 100 students from Oswego Middle School joined members of the Oswego City Police Department at Lighthouse Lanes recently for an afternoon of bowling and pizza while building trust and finding common ground.
Organized as part of the OPD and Oswego City School District’s reintroduction of the D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) curriculum, the event hosted seventh grade student and officers immediately following a half-day of school.
“We want to be promoting police officers as friends, not bullies, and helping kids and parents be more comfortable around us,” said Officer Thomas Grover, who serves as the district’s D.A.R.E. instructor.
Since September, Grover has been presenting the D.A.R.E curriculum to elementary, middle and high school students with the mission of teaching students good decision-making skills to help them lead safe and healthy lives.
Students bowled, lunched and interacted with Grover and two other OPD officers during the two-hour event, giving them an alternative activity during the shortened school day.
“We heard this was for the D.A.R.E. program and wanted to help support it,” said seventh grader Sydney Hoefer. “They teach us a lot, and in a fun way, so we want to learn more.”