There no longer is any question about whether students in
grades 3 through 12 should be exposed to information
about gangs. If teachers aren't informing them about gangs then peers, gang members,
and the media are. It is no longer uncommon to see children eight and nine
years of age active in street gangs - children in the third and fourth
That's why the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms
(the ATF) and the Phoenix (AZ) Police Department teamed up in 1992 to create
an in-school curriculum called Gang Resistance Education
and Training (G.R.E.A.T.). It is now offered to
and fifth/sixth grade students as well as to middle-school and high
The following is a brief history of G.R.E.A.T.
Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T.)
began in fiscal year 1992 through a partnership between the Phoenix Police
Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF). Together
with other Arizona police departments, they developed a nine lesson middle
school curriculum, with the
of reducing gang involvement and youth violence.
Since then, a shorter third/fourth
grade and fifth/sixth grade curriculum, as well as a summer
component, have been developed. The purpose of the G.R.E.A.T. Program is
to help children become responsible members of their communities by
setting goals for themselves, resisting negative pressures, learning how
to resolve conflicts, and understanding how gangs impact the quality of
their lives. G.R.E.A.T. offers students a new philosophical outlook
concerning gang activity and the tools needed to resist gang pressure.
To date, thousands of law enforcement officers from
hundreds of agencies throughout the United States, Canada, Guam, Puerto
Rico, and military personnel from overseas bases in Japan and Germany have
been trained to present the core curriculum in elementary, junior high and
middle school classrooms. The estimated cumulative
number of students who have received the G.R.E.A.T. Program is more than 1
1/2 million. (G.R.E.A.T.)
Perhaps you don't have a G.R.E.A.T. program in your schools
but would still like to present meaningful information to your students. The
links below should give you an idea of the things you could talk
about with them and experiences in which you could involve them.
| Appendix |
Michael K. Carlie
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be
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writing from the author and copyright holder - Michael K. Carlie.