G.R.E.A.T. (Gang Resistance Education and Training) Summer Program

The Desoto Police Departments G.R.E.A.T. Summer Program builds on the school-based curriculum taught by School Resource Officers (SRO’s) during the school year by offering students an opportunity to enhance their social skills, giving them alternatives to gang involvement, and adding structure to their summer months. Interested students are asked to enroll by picking up an application in the front office of their campus during the months of March and April. Students will need a parent or guardian's signature on a Membership Agreement and Accident Waiver Form. The Agreement includes a list of rules that each student must agree to follow. Although the summer program is most beneficial when used as reinforcement for students that have received the G.R.E.A.T. Program training during the school year, students may be selected from other programs or directly from the community. Targeted age groups are kids currently enrolled in the 4th grade thru 8th grade levels. Space is limited so parents are encouraged to complete the initial application as soon as possible (starting in March).

To provide kids/ students of Desoto with positive, educational, fun, safe activities over the summer months and deter and discourage delinquent behavior that’s comes with boredom over the summer months while school is out.

Program Structure
The Desoto Police Departments GREAT Summer Program runs (5) days a week Monday thru Friday for the entire month of June (4 weeks). Start time for the program begins at 8:30am (although kids can be dropped off at the designated school location as early as 8am) and ends at 2:30pm. Students who need transportation to the program can be picked up and dropped off by a School resource officer at their home campus. The program involves students in a variety of educational and recreational activities. Instruction in the G.R.E.A.T. core concepts such as decision making , conflict resolution, peer pressure, bullying, drug/ tobacco awareness /prevention, gang deterrence, etc are included in the curriculum. There are also field trips, cookouts, recreational and sporting events, and AwanaGame™ activities that are all part of the G.R.E.A.T. Summer Program. The Desoto Police Department’s Summer Program forms a positive community partnership with the public, the school district and private sectors.

Program Approach
GREAT makes an impact by using a skills-based approach that addresses three domains of learning: cognitive, behavioral and affective. The GREAT Program produces attitude and behavioral change through a unique combination of skills training, cooperative learning, discussion, and role playing.

Students are provided with many opportunities to model and practice relevant life skills. Once students have rehearsed these skills, they will be more likely to use them in real-life situations. The GREAT Program consists of thirteen 30 to 45 minute lessons.

Target Audience
In DeSoto this program is directed at Junior High level students.