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2008 La Crosse Area G.R.E.A.T. Collaboration

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2008, $109,250)

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 La Crosse Police Department, in conjunction with the La Crosse Sheriff's Department and the Onalaska Police Department, plan to use a variety of community-based resources, including other agencies, in a comprehensive community-based approach in implementing its G.R.E.A.T. program for FY 2008. The La Crosse Police Department will take the lead role in implementing the G.R.E.A.T. program while serving as the multi-jurisdictional local grant coordinator. In an effort to address the infiltration of gangs in La Crosse area communities, the La Crosse Police Department collaborative will implement elementary, middle school, summer, and families components for La Crosse area youth and their parents/guardians.

The elementary school component will be offered in five partner school districts and will reach approximately 62 percent of 4th grade students with a total of 747 elementary youth expected to be served. The middle school component will be offered to mostly all 6th graders attending the public partner schools as well as 6th graders attending La Crosse Catholic schools with the goal of reaching over 79 percent of all 6th graders. The La Crosse Police Department collaborative expects to serve a total of 1,258 middle school youth.

Three summer components will be offered for the summer programming. The first summer program will be the G.R.E.A.T/La Crosse Park and Recreation Summer Program which will reach approximately 300 five to 14 year old La Crosse area youth over an 8-week period. Events such as a fishing derby will be used over the course of the program to reinforce life skills in a non-class room setting such as cultural sensitivity, conflict resolution, goals, and responsibility for one's self and one's community. The second summer program, G.R.E.A.T./Boys & Girls Club P.L.A.Y. (Participating in the Lives of Area Youth), will be offered over a 3-week period and will reach approximately 250 youth. G.R.E.A.T. officers will use Awana games to facilitate 'teaching moments' to reinforce lessons on values, character building, and conflict management learned in the G.R.E.A.T. core classroom. The third summer program, Girl Scouts of Riverland Council 'Camp Send-A-Kid', will be offered for five days and four nights. Formal G.R.E.A.T. summer component lessons will be taught while Awana games and other activities will serve as an informal reinforcement of G.R.E.A.T. social skills. The La Crosse Police Department collaborative expects to serve 100 at-risk youth at the camp and provide twelve contact hours per day for each youth. Nearly 650 youth are expected to be served through the three summer components for an estimated 350 contact hours over a 12-week period.

The La Crosse police Department collaborative plans to deliver a six-lesson G.R.E.A.T. families component to an estimated 25 families. The school districts will be used to recruit 'high risk youth and families' to participate in the families component.


Date Created: July 24, 2008