C.H.A.M.P.S. (Choosing Healthy Activities and Promoting Safety) is a 20-week program to help young people resist pressures which may influence them to experiment with alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, inhalants, opiods and other drugs. They also are taught ways to avoid bullying, peer pressure, violent behavior and making good choices. Several safety topics such as Hunting, ATV and Boating Safety are also included. This program was started by the Georgia Sheriff's Association and is taught to the fifth grade students by a deputy from the Burke County Sheriff's Office.
The C.H.A.M.P.S. program was established by the Georgia Sheriff’s Association when a group of Sheriffs got together to discuss an educational program developed around the problems they were seeing in their communities and other counties around the state. C.H.A.M.P.S. is designed so the Instructor and School systems change adapt it to the needs of the county and school.
C.H.A.M.P.S. is a 12-week program but it can be shortened or extended to the meet the needs of the school schedule. The program is taught one day per week for a period of about an hour. There are 20 modules in C.H.A.M.P.S.: Alcohol, ATV Safety, Bullying, Choices and Consequences, Cocaine, Gangs, Home Alone Safety, Hunter Safety, Internet Safety, Leaders and Followers, Marijuana, Methamphetamines, Peer Pressure, Prescription Pills, Positive Alternatives, Stress, Tobacco, Violence, Water Safety.
C.H.A.M.P.S. also has an Introduction, C.H.A.M.P.S. Project, Post Test and Graduation. The current curriculum is designed for fifth grade but the plans are to extend the program to middle and high school classes in the future. Each lesson is presented through Power Point presentation, hands on experiences, class room interaction and student workbooks.
Insructors have to be certified deputies from local Sheriffs Offices and must take 80 hours of training to be certified as a C.H.A.M.P.S. Instructor.
The C.H.A.M.P.S. program is funded by the Burke County Sheriff’s Office. The costs associated with the program including workbooks, graduation certificates, special items for students, etc. are all purchased using funds collected in fines and forfeitures.
If you would like more information regarding the C.H.A.M.P.S. program please contact Deputy Tommie Walker at 706-554-2133.