Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $35,000)
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 Town of Danvers will use FY 2010 Bureau of Justice Assistance Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T.) Program funds to utilize two of the G.R.E.A.T. components for the Elementary School and Middle School Curricula and Family and Summer Components. The G.R.E.A.T. component focuses on reaching high-risk youth in multiple ways. The middle and elementary school curricula is a population based primary prevention strategy that targets all youth in the 5th and 7th grade levels in Danvers and includes St. Mary's Private School.
The Danvers Police Department G.R.E.A.T. officer will provide a professional development session to teachers, school counselors, and administrators on the G.R.E.A.T. curriculum so that identification of kids at-risk happens early and with the proper family involvement and community referrals.
The Essex Agricultural Vocational School will work with law enforcement on campus in order to establish positive police-youth relations, and to address school-based violence in an effective manner. The population of the school is more diverse than the public school system with up to 13% Hispanic, and has youth from communities such as Lynn, Lawrence, and Salem where gang prevalence is high.
The Danvers Police Department will implement the G.R.E.A.T. parent curriculum with 40 families of 9th graders at Essex Vocational School. Parents with kids at-risk for violent behaviors and potential gang involvement will be confidentially identified by school counselors and administrators and will receive special invitation to participate. For youth who violate school safety rules, the school will make the parent program mandatory. The regional Essex County Summer Camp serves a targeted population of high-risk middle school youth.