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Officer Corbin Teaches "Too Good for Drugs" 5th Grade Program at Red Cedars

Beginning the spring semester of 2024, Dustin Corbin, Cedar Lake Police Officer and School Resource Officer of Hanover Central High School, has been teaching the 5th graders at Red Cedars Elementary School through a program called “Too Good for Drugs.” The Mendez Foundation provides this course and Officer Corbin brought the program to Hanover through Geminus, a company that provides preventative programs in Northwest Indiana. He volunteered to teach the course as he was already enjoying working with the students at the high school. He saw this as an opportunity to get to know the students at Red Cedars. 


The “Too Good for Drugs” course at the 5th-grade level includes strategy cards, games, puzzles, and more that allow the students to work together to comprehend the lessons. Each student has their own workbook which they use to take notes, work on activities, and understand instructions. They also include a parent component to extend prevention skills and messages into the home. This course works by providing comprehensive prevention education, mitigates risk factors, builds preventative factors, develops strength-based skills, and develops core character traits. Some of the core character traits align with the employability skills being taught at Hanover like collaboration, integrity, and self-discipline.


The content of the course is a combination of setting goals, making responsible decisions, managing emotions and relationships, handling peer pressure, and understanding the effects of alcohol, nicotine, and marijuana. Officer Corbin enjoys how interactive the course is, allowing him to get to know the students better. This course is important for the students in 5th grade because it helps them handle the situations that they are likely to face as they become teenagers and adults. 


The “Too Good for Drugs” course replaced D.A.R.E (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) at Hanover Community School Corporation, as it was more cost-effective for the Cedar Lake Police Department. The students enjoy learning from Officer Corbin and asking him questions about his job. 5th-grade teacher Haley Matthys said, “ What the course is teaching them is great with making good decisions, managing emotions, setting goals, and communicating.”


 The implementation of the "Too Good for Drugs" program by Officer Dustin Corbin at Red Cedars Elementary School marks a significant step in encouraging preventative education among 5th-grade students. Through interactive lessons and comprehensive content, students are equipped with essential skills to navigate challenges they may encounter in adolescence and adulthood. Officer Corbin's dedication to creating a positive learning environment is evident, as is the program's alignment with the goals of the Hanover Community School Corporation. As we look towards the future, initiatives like these serve as invaluable tools in promoting well-being and resilience among our students, ensuring they are equipped to make informed decisions and lead fulfilling lives.