Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $997,758)
The Anti-Violence Partnership of Philadelphia (AVP)’s Youth Violence Outreach Initiative will bring the evidence-based Positive Action model to String Theory Schools’ four campuses in Philadelphia, impacting the lives of 3,500 children in grades K-12. AVP has been providing in-school and afterschool individual therapy and psychoeducational group programs for students in Philadelphia since 1990. AVP partners with more than 30 schools, as well as community-based sites such as Parks and Recreation centers. Philadelphia is experiencing an epidemic of gun violence. The children in our schools are impacted by the trauma of friends, relatives and family members being injured or killed. As of August 12, 2021, there have been 329 homicides in Philadelphia this year, up 26% over 2020. In 2020, there was a 40% increase over 2019. To date in 2021, there have been 1,145 nonfatal shooting victims, and 283 fatal shooting victims. The Positive Action model has been shown to strengthen children’s resilience, and it is just what is needed to protect the next generation of children from being drawn into the cycle of retaliatory violence. This grant will enable String Theory Schools and the Anti-Violence Partnership of Philadelphia to build on their already-strong partnership in stopping Philadelphia’s cycle of violence. AVP is an experienced provider of evidence-based curricula that they successfully implement in String Theory Schools and other schools throughout Philadelphia. AVP will provide four full-time Violence Prevention Counselors to implement the Positive Action Whole School Reform Model curriculum in String Theory Schools’ 144 classes over the course of each school year, and to work with school administrators, including Principals, Climate Officers, and Police Resource Officers on the Whole School Reform Model. AVP will purchase materials and training from Positive Action, including Classroom Kits, Climate Kits and Refresher Kits for years two and three. String Theory Schools’ four campuses draw children from throughout Philadelphia, with one campus giving priority to students from the 19124 zip code, where it is located. The other three campuses are located in zip codes 19148, 19145 and 19102, spanning Congressional Districts PA-02, PA-03 and PA-05.