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Preventing the growth of gang violence in Akron, OH.

Award Information

Award #
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2007, $149,929)

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 Summit County Prosecutor's Office will implement the G.R.E.A.T. elementary school, middle school, families, and summer components in collaboration with the Summit County Sheriff's Office and Akron Public Schools. The elementary and middle school components will be taught by two part-time and one full-time G.R.E.A.T. certified officers. These components will be implemented in grades four through eight in eight targeted schools. The families component will be taught in collaboration with faith-based partners and the University of Akron's Strive Toward Excellence Program (STEP), a pre-college preparatory program that assists at-risk students with developing self-esteem, increasing academic skills, and enhancing leadership skills. The project plans to serve 20 families. The six-week summer component will be implemented in collaboration with STEP and the Youth Excellence Performing Arts Workshop and will serve approximately 450 students. This component will include instruction by G.R.E.A.T. officers on safety awareness, self-defense techniques, and how the justice system works and field trips to the Inventors Hall of Fame, Summit County Courthouse, and the Juvenile Courthouse. Participants will engage in community service days in the target areas of North Hill, South Akron/Downtown, and West Akron. Activities will include feeding the homeless, painting murals, restoring parks, and generally making a difference in the communities.


Date Created: August 14, 2007