Gang Resistance Education & Training
G.R.E.A.T. stands for Gang Resistance Education and Training and is a national program that relies on evidence-based and effective gang and violence prevention built around school-based, law enforcement officer-instructed curriculum. The Program is intended as an immunization against delinquency, youth violence, and gang membership for children in the years immediately before the prime ages for introduction into gangs and delinquent behavior.
G.R.E.A.T. Elementary School Component
The G.R.E.A.T. Elementary School Component consists of a competency-based life skills curriculum designed as a precursor to the middle school curriculum. This component establishes the foundation that prepares children for the intensified content and cooperation exercises taught in the middle school curriculum, while developing a positive bond between law enforcement and youth. Reaching children at an earlier stage of development allows for a better transition into the middle school curriculum. Children who have aggressive behavior in the elementary school years are more likely to display antisocial and violent behavior as adolescents and young adults.
By providing prevention programs to students in elementary and middle school, it is believed that such programs have a better chance of affecting the developmental course of the problem behavior. The goal is to prevent youth violence while developing positive relationships between criminal justice professionals and youth during their early developmental years.
The curriculum is designed for fourth and fifth grade students as a precursor to the G.R.E.A.T. middle school curriculum, has integrated the National English Language Arts Standards and National Health Education Standards, and is based on effective research practices. Sworn/certified criminal justice professionals must first be certified to teach the G.R.E.A.T. Program.
The curriculum can be used in conjunction with and to reinforce other prevention programs to encourage positive relationships among the community, parents, schools, and law enforcement.