Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2006, $5,245)
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 Desoto Police Department in conjunction with the Desoto Independent School District has implemented the GREAT Elementary, Middle School and summer components as a strategy providing instruction for the entire 4th grade student body, a substantial amount of the 7th& 8th grade student body and provides the summer components to the Junior High School and Elementary School age students. Junior High School GREAT is implemented in conjunction with a teen leadership school curriculum as well as incorporation with health class curriculum. Elementary school GREAT incorporates all 4th grade students in four elementary schools. Many of the middle school level GREAT students are selected by the schools counselors/personnel for the Leadership and Health classes because of risk factors such as higher rate of truancy, discipline records, and other extenuating circumstances.