The S.T.A.R.T. Unit focuses on providing quality prevention education to students in the St. Charles City School district.
Substance Tobacco Alcohol Resistance Training (S.T.A.R.T.) is a comprehensive and adaptable substance abuse prevention curriculum primarily for fifth grade students. For the duration of a semester, students learn about critical issues facing youth today, such as tobacco, alcohol, illicit drugs, bullying and cyberbullying, peer pressure, and citizenship. All classes are led by Community Education Officers who utilize a combination of instructional strategies for student engagement, including interactive learning, lectures, writing prompts, group exercises, and peer-led discussions. Each lesson is focused on helping students understand positive and negative decision-making and providing them with the tools necessary to confidentially express the program’s motto: “Start by saying NO!”
Our officers are trained, streetwise police officers who are empathetic to, and taken seriously by, the students. The officers, by their example, become positive role models to the students. While they teach in uniform, their personalities and knowledge quickly break down any preconceived notions of us and them between themselves and the students. They are committed to the youth of the community and work closely with school administrators and teachers. When not teaching at their assigned schools, the officers provide various educational programs to organizations and other groups.
Unlike other prevention programs, S.T.A.R.T. was created by SCCPD law enforcement professionals with contributions from the St. Charles County Health Department, St. Charles County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, Digital Futures Initiative, and other community partners.