Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $125,000)
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 coordinates 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 Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County will use fiscal year 2009 G.R.E.A.T. funds to continue the delivery of the elementary, middle school, summer, and families components. Currently, there are 11 documented gangs with approximately 4,800 gang members in the county. In an effort to combat gang violence and participation in gang activities which often involve youth, the middle school component will be taught in all middle schools in the Metro Nashville area, while the elementary program will expand to include additional schools targeted to reach at-risk youth at an earlier age to help them make better life decisions. Target areas for the G.R.E.A.T. families sessions will be locations known for gang recruitment and activity, and the summer component will involve team building exercises and a community service project. Youth will also be able to interact with law enforcement officers and other positive role models in a non-threatening environment.