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Chicago Police Department's Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T.) Program

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $50,000)

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 Chicago Police Department (CPD) will utilize the FY 2010 G.R.E.A.T. Evaluation Sites Program funds to implement all four components of the G.R.E.A.T. Curriculum: elementary and middle school curricula and continued implementation of the summer and family components. The FY 2010 G.R.E.A.T. evaluation site will assist the G.R.E.A.T. evaluator with the data collection process, which is critical to the program's evaluation, by gaining the cooperation of schools in their respective cities. Because the evaluation site is teaching multiple components of the program, this level of funding will allow them to continue supporting the non-school based families and summer components of the program, in addition to the school-based elementary and middle school components.

The CPD plans to teach approximately 20,000 students during the 2010-2011 school year. The G.R.E.A.T. curriculum is presented in lessons that are 40-50 minutes in length. The third and fourth grade curriculum is taught in six weekly lessons and the seventh and eighth-grade curriculum is presented in thirteen weekly lessons. Lessons are only taught by G.R.E.A.T. trained officers with classroom teachers present. The program concludes with each student being presented with a certificate of completion signed by the officer, teacher, and the school principal.

The Summer Component of the G.R.E.A.T. program affords G.R.E.A.T. instructors the opportunity to re-enforce the program with the students they taught during the school year. Every summer, uniformed officers conduct a one-week program for approximately hundreds of Chicago youth in cooperation with the Girls and Boys Clubs of Chicago and the Chicago Park District. In each Summer Component session, high-risk youth participants are introduced to activities that build self-esteem, and skills in team building and decision-making.

Families and uniformed G.R.E.A.T. officers will participate in six-session programs of family-oriented activities designed to foster better parenting skills and to develop lines of communication between parents and children. These programs will be conducted after normal school and work hours.


Date Created: September 12, 2010