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Philadelphia Police - 2008 G.R.E.A.T. Local Grant

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2008, $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 curricula help students develop values and practice behaviors that will help them avoid destructive activities. G.R.E.A.T. program staff coordinate project activities with federal, regional, state, and local agencies, as well as individuals from community and civic groups. The goal of the program is to train criminal justice professionals to deliver a school-based curriculum that teaches life-skills competencies, gang awareness, and violence-avoidance techniques.

The City of Philadelphia will use the grant funding for the operation of a Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T.) Program through the Philadelphia Police Department (PPD). The program will implement all four components of G.R.E.A.T. The Philadelphia School District is the eighth largest in the country, with 196,309 students and serves a racially and ethnically diverse student population. The school district encompasses 174 elementary, 39 middle schools, 55 charter schools, as well as high schools and other special schools. The racial make-up of the schools is 65.5% African-American, 5.3% Asian, 14.5% Hispanic, 2% Native American, and 14.2% White. According to a Temple University research study, at least 76% of public school students are federally eligible for reduced or free lunches, which is indicative of families with low incomes. The school district also transports or assists with the transportation of approximately 65% of these school students. Most of these students are provided bus transportation from lower income areas to populated areas of higher incomes.

The G.R.E.A.T Program provides the youth of Philadelphia with positive opportunities and instruction on how to make informed decisions in their lives. G.R.E.A.T. officers will be present at one G.R.E.A.T. school weekly to teach four to five classes to approximately 120-150 students. Two sessions will be taught during the year and most of the classroom participants will be from public schools and live in at-risk neighborhoods. The summer component will be conducted in two phases; phase one will take place in three Department of Recreation Centers over a six week period. The program will consist of the G.R.E.A.T. middle school curriculum including life skills training, safety education, guest speakers, and other recreational games and activities. It is expected that 200 students will participate in this phase. Phase two of the summer component will run for two weeks, and will be conducted at six Boys and Girls Clubs, six Y.M.C.A. facilities, and at the Light House Athletic Center. This phase will operate the same as phase one with approximately 1,200 students participating at 13 locations.

The family component will operate during the summer components of phases one and two daily serving approximately 20 families. Other family component activities will take place during the year as well. In addition, the PPD maintains an active schedule of community events where the G.R.E.A.T. Program is discussed. It is anticipated that the program will be presented at 100 community events this year. The program seeks to increase the percentage of Middle Schools Program graduates that demonstrate increased negative views about gangs to 90% by 2010, and show annual increases in the number of school-aged children who report that they have resolved a conflict non-violently. The program has an overall goal of striving to increase the percentage of school children who have a positive perception of law enforcement.


Date Created: July 29, 2008