OCEAN COUNTY PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE CONTINUES TO EDUCATE OC CHILDREN OF ALCOHOL, DRUGS AND GANG DANGERS
Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato, Toms River Schools Superintendent David M. Healy and Toms River Police Chief Mitch Little today announced that on Thursday (1/21) the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, Toms River Police Department and the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department collaborated to graduate the entire fifth grade class, approximately 150 children, of the Toms River Hooper Avenue Elementary School. This group of students is one of many for the 2015/2016 school year highlighting the continued growth of the G.R.E.A.T. (Gang Resistance Education and Training) Program within the Office of the Ocean County Prosecutor and partnering OC law enforcement departments. The program’s focus is on anti-violence, but also teaches important life skills that are solidified in both the group and individual setting with different themed lessons and practical exercises each week
This year the program has already graduated fifth grade students from Toms River Silver Bay Elementary School, East Dover Elementary School and 6th graders from Toms River Intermediate East (that program was 13 weeks long – verses the 6 weeks for elementary students). To date the program has imparted life skills/lessons this school year to approximately 650 students from the Ocean County area. In 2014, close to 800 students in Toms River and Lakewood completed the school-based, law enforcement officer-instructed classroom curriculum designed to prevent delinquency, violence and gang membership.
Today’s graduation is the results of the partnering instruction from Ocean County Prosecutor’s Det. Juan Pastrana, Det. Taryn Schwartz, Det. Sgt. Renee Nauyoks, Toms River PD Ptl. Pam Slaven, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Depatment S.O. Bill Zykowski. 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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