Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2006, $58,395)
The Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T.) program is a life-skills competency program designed to provide students with the skills they need to avoid gang pressure and youth violence. G.R.E.A.T.'s violence prevention curriculum helps students develop values and practice behaviors that will assist them to avoid destructive activities. The G.R.E.A.T. program coordinates with federal, regional, state and local agencies, as well as individuals from community and civic groups. The goal of the G.R.E.A.T. program is to train law enforcement officers in a school-based curriculum in which the officers provide instruction to school-aged children in life skill competencies, gang awareness, and anti-violence techniques. Training in the core G.R.E.A.T. program is provided to officers from any state or local law enforcement agency.
The Kankakee County Sheriff's Department plans to teach the middle school curriculum to 6th grade students in 10 middle schools and the elementary school curriculum to 5th grade students in 10 elementary schools. The G.R.E.A.T. officers expect to reach approximately 1,000 youth in classroom settings. The department currently has 2 certified G.R.E.A.T. officers and plans to send 2 additional officers to certification training to meet the demand for the program and increased participation. The Sheriff's Department will continue to partner with the schools and community organizations to create a positive, healthy environment for local youth.