Hi there... how do you choose which kids are selected for the program? And how would I be able to enroll my child?
The kids we reach with the G.R.E.A.T. program generally participate in two ways: either in late elementary grades or early middle school grades in which all or most students at a grade level in their schools participate in G.R.E.A.T.; or they are involved as participants in G.R.E.A.T.'s Summer or Family programs. We are a universal life skills program that encourages participation by all.
Is the GREAT program offered in any schools in South Carolina? If yes, in what city/school?
How do you teach black kids and Hispanic kids? Both have different cultures and different codes, as well as languages.
Our materials and training stress engaging youths from all cultural and socio economic backgrounds. We do publish materials in Spanish for our Latino students.
The District seems to have considerable problems with youth violence. Is this program in all of DC's schools?
I once observed a troubled juvenile session I found quite interesting: the theory is many young, immature people commit bad actions against others because they have not fullly developed the abiility to feel empathy. They did role playing where they played the roles of their victims. Many stated they finally understood the harm of their actions. Does your education program help develop empathy and what are your thoughts on what I observed?
Yes, our program does address empathy, while also providing real-world scenarios in which actions and empathy are important.
Is there a difference between teaching a student how to behave in a polite manner and how to avoid the violence of gangs and bullies? I know the job would be easier if the gangs didn't already exist. I know that not everyone is able to grow up in a safe and loving environment which may lead some to see acceptance from other outlets, including gangs.
In G.R.E.A.T. we stress core life-skills such as communication, conflict-resolution, and anger management. Whether dealing with bullies or gang-members, we give our students the practical skills needed to resist involvement in violence. Our kids commit to making their schools and their communities better places.
Have you any idea the number of children who need this kind of program? What can parents do to ensure that their kids get the kind of instruction they need?
Since its inception 20 years ago, G.R.E.A.T. has reached approximately 6 million students across the country. We find that all kids can benefit from the life-skills G.R.E.A.T. teaches. No kid is immune from the influences of violence, bullying, or gang violence.
Hello.... How much does it cost for the program? And do parents have to pay for this?
The program is free of charge to schools and parents. All we ask of schools is to have the time to work with students in their classrooms. Our member agencies, typically, law enforcement departments, provide trained staff and materials. Parents and their children are not asked to pay for classroom participation or participation in G.R.E.A.T. Families.
Hi there.... Who are the people who teach the program and where are the classes held/ Can anyone enroll their child in the program?
We are fortunate to have thousands of criminal justice professionals and agencies dedicating their time and resources to reach the students in their communities. Our facilitators go through an extensive training process to prepare them to work with students in a variety of ways.
Has there been a rigorous evlauation of GREAT using randomization, control or comparison groups, or other "gold standard" evaluation research strategies?
G.R.E.A.T. has been evaluated in two national evaluations conducted by the National Institute of Justice. The second of those is not yet completed, however in both cases G.R.E.A.T. has been shown to positively change attitudes and behaviors of students. Moreover, students and teachers overwhelmingly like G.R.E.A.T.
With all the fiscal irresponsibility and lack of money issues occurring right now, it seems the best prevention and intervention programs always get their funding diminished or cut completely. The Police Athletic Leagues and Boys and Girls Clubs are good examples. All the research shows, and in fact gang members themselves have said, that prevention/intervention activities, as well as good role models and a better family atmosphere are needed to curb the gang problems in society. How can we accomplish this goal if the funding for the programs that work are always the first programs to lose their funding?
Since G.R.E.A.T.'s inception in 1991 we have worked to develop partnerships with other youth-serving organizations such as PAL, Boys and Girls Clubs, and Families and Schools Together.
Is it difficult to attract and retain young men to your programs? How do you keep them invested in the actitivites?
Our G.R.E.A.T. instructors build positive relationships with their students, and maintain those relationships. It is common for our G.R.E.A.T. instructors to run into former G.R.E.A.T. students. In fact, the VISTA Site Coordinator at Hart Middle School is a former G.R.E.A.T. student ourself. She was the one who reached out to us to get G.R.E.A.T. involved with her school.