There was another Gang Resistance, Education and Training graduation on Friday January 19th held in San Ignacio. This one is called the GREAT family component. THE training sessions for vulnerable youths have been ongoing for years but the family component has been a recent addition where parents and children alike attend sessions to help decrease the child’s chances of ending up in a gang. PC Jason Jones tells us more.
PC Jason Jones, GREAT Program
The GREAT program in the schools deal with schools and students at the schools but the “Family’s component” allow us to bring the families together and teach them life skills, teach them communications, Discipline, and even as we are in the electronic age with teach how parents need to monitor their families especially when it comes still video games that they play. Also the music that they listen to; they have to set limits and boundaries when it comes to people they are hanging out with. So the Families Unity dealt with that and we also encourage them to have more have more communication within the family. Most of the time you will notice that families do not really eat together. Everyone has their own schedule you come home and the kids are already in bed. But with the family’s component we allow the families to eat together around the table and even though they are eating we have different activities that they have to do. The father would ask the children “how was your day?” “What did you do today?” . That builds the family structure because we understand that the kids can have the GREAT programs in schools but the families themselves do not know what the GREAT program does. The kid comes form school with a letter. Now the family are able to see what their siblings are doing and it reinforces what is being taught at the school level. They are getting it to the school and they are getting it at home.
The graduation ceremony took place at the police conference room in San Ignacio. It is the first family component session for the San Ignacio area and saw the participation of 6 families and 25 participants. We spoke to two of the younger participants, Peter Loague and Darrell Castillo.
Kids enrolled in Program:
I learned about the video games; levels, the kinds of games you should play, how you should have respect! I learned to not be a bully, to be kind to others. I am a kind person. I like the most that You need to ask if you want to go with your friends. Know about their basic needs, before we play basketball we ask our parents permission. etc. Today we are learning what time to go and what time to come back, and if we are on the Internet you can’t do cyber bullying. I want to tell people come and join because it is fun, you learn respect and you learn to pay attention.
According to Jones, there are plans for more GREAT family sessions for the twin towns.
PC Jason Jones, GREAT Program
We will be going back into the schools and we are teaching GREAT in all the schools within the San Ignacio and Santa Elena area. So all the schools are benefiting from the GREAT program. So officers who go into the school identify family members from the kids that they are teaching and then we contact those families, have a meeting with them and see if they are interested in being a part of this program. We also want to encourage those people who have already gone through the program, if they know of a family that might need the same sessions, contact us. We will contact that family and we will see how we can put them in the GREAT fund.
he next GREAT Family session is expected to be held sometime in March.