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G.R.E.A.T. THINGS HAPPENING IN TOMS RIVER SCHOOLS

Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato today announced the graduation of Toms River Silver Bay and North Dover Elementary School students from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office G.R.E.A.T. (Gang Resistance Education and Training) Program.  Today’s graduation marks the certification of another 210 students for the 2016/2017 school year.

Ocean County Prosecutors Office Sgt. Renee Nauyoks, Detectives Taryn Ritacco and Thomas Scalzullo partnered with Tom River PD Officers Pam Slaven and Ron Bayer and Ocean County Sheriff’s Officers Joe Kirby and Bill Zyckowski to fulfill the six week school outreach course.

The program focuses on teaching children life skills which include: decision making, communication skills, anger management, anti-bullying and respect. The program is taught by Officer’s trained and certified by OCPO, allowing local Law Enforcement to work collaboratively with the School District and the community.  To date the program has imparted life skills/lessons to over 1400 students throughout Ocean County who have completed the school-based, law enforcement officer-instructed classroom curriculum.

The Gang Resistance Education And Training (G.R.E.A.T.) Program is an evidence-based, national and international gang and violence prevention program that has been building trust between law enforcement and communities for almost 30 years.  G.R.E.A.T. is intended as an immunization against delinquency, youth violence, and gang membership.  It is designed for children in the years immediately before the prime ages for introduction into gangs and delinquent behavior.  The program is built around school-based, law enforcement officer-instructed classroom curricula.

OCPO brought the program to Ocean County Schools in 2011 and have been continuously working cooperatively with other Ocean County law enforcement agencies to expand the program locally in an effort to reach as many children as possible.  Those wishing more Information about the G.R.E.A.T. program can go to: www.great-online.org.

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