GREAT Program

(Gang Resistance Education and Training)

THE G.R.E.A.T  Program is a violence prevention curriculum sponsored by the New Jersey State Parole Board. The program teaches students important skills to help them avoid gangs, violence, drug abuse, and crime. Students at ST. Francis Xavier School work very closely with our Officer Ray Vonberheide, senior parole officer in the street gang unit, who serves as a mentor and positive role model for students in grades 3and 6.

Some areas studied by the students were:

The truth about gangs and violence.

Students’ roles in their families, schools, and communities.

Identifying realistic goals and how to reach them.

How to makes decisions.

How to communicate well.

Developing empathy for others.

How to deal with peer pressure.

What to do when you feel angry.

How to resolve conflicts.

On the conclusion of the program, on April 27, 2013, students in grades 3 & 8 are awarded Certificates for their participation in the program. Part of the six-grade curriculum involves a service project. Students selected to collect food for Catholic Charities who will distribute the food to those in need in the Counties they serve.

The G.R.E.A.T. Program is a collaborative effort among the police department, the school and home.