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Gang Resistance Education And Training for Lawrence Township

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2007, $27,610)

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 Lawrence Township Police Department has two officers that are trained in G.R.E.A.T. These officers are currently instructing G.R.E.A.T. to all 7th grade students at the Lawrence Middle School.

During the 2005-2006 school year 310 7th grade students were instructed on the Middle School Component of G.R.E.A.T. and 290 7th grade students at the Lawrence Middle School were instructed on this component during the 2006-2007 school year. This has been accomplished without any grant funding and will be continued without any grant funding. However, with the grant funding that is requested and received, the program will be expanded.

Lawrence Township Police Department will use their grant funds to expand the G.R.E.A.T. program that is already being taught. The components that will be implemented are the Families Component and the Summer Component.

Two G.R.E.A.T. Families Component trained officers, with assistance of school personnel, will implement the Families Component. Four six-week Families sessions will be conducted throughout the year. Referrals from building principals, guidance counselors, and contacts that officers make with families of at-risk children will be recommended to attend the G.R.E.A.T. Families Component.

Two G.R.E.A.T. trained officers will instruct the Summer Component. The Summer Component will be a two-week session held in July. At-risk youth who have been identified by school personnel or by police contact will be admitted into the program. The days will be broken down into lessons (e.g., conflict resolution, self-image, career exploration, anger management, and refusal skills) and activities. Team building will be an important part of the activity portion.

A G.R.E.A.T. after school program will also be utilized. The after school program will be taught at the Lawrence Middle School each Monday from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. by a G.R.E.A.T. trained officer. The after school program will last the entire school year and will be an extension and a reinforcement of the Middle School Curriculum. The after school program will be for at-risk children, unlike the middle school curriculum which is presented to the entire student body. There will be more opportunities for the G.R.E.A.T. officer to work closely with at-risk children to make a positive impact on their lives. Role playing and decision-making will be a key factor of the training in the after school program.


Date Created: September 6, 2007