Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2007, $150,000)
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 City of Birmingham will use Fiscal Year 2007 funding to implement G.R.E.A.T with a focus on fourth grade students in the elementary schools and sixth grade students in the middle schools. Some of the topics the G.R.E. A.T. officers will address include: bullying, peer pressure, gang graffiti, making good decisions, setting realistic goals, and the truth about gangs and violence. A summer component will be implemented in partnership with the City's Camp Birmingham program. This component will serve an estimated 370 students between the ages of six and 13. The families component will be implemented through different community groups, civic organizations, and faith-based groups.