Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2007, $31,889)
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 Grand Island Police Department has participated in and has been committed to the G.R.E.A.T. Program since 1998. The police department will use the Fiscal Year 2007 G.R.E.A.T. funds to continue teaching the curriculum to middle school students and conducting the summer and families components. The middle school curriculum will be taught to an estimated 602 seventh grade students. Between 250 and 300 youth will participate in the summer component and approximately 90 families will be served in the families component. The G.R.E.A.T. program has provided students with skills in making good decisions, anger management, conflict resolution, communication, and how to deal with angry individuals. An increase in gang activity in the community and in the school was recognized during the 1990s. The G.R.E.A.T. program has encouraged students to make good choices and aids in changing classroom behavior. Teachers are able to focus on teaching rather than dealing with disruptive behavior in the classroom and the students have a lower level of fear, which enhances the learning environment.