The Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT) program is a 13-week interactive, life-skills building program that has been taught in the Valparaiso school system since 1993. The program provides our youth with the necessary skills and information to avoid gangs, drug abuse, crime, and violence and become responsible members of our society.
The instructors utilize proven teaching techniques such as cooperative learning and interactive discussion to facilitate students' learning. Officer Terry Cox and Sergeant Mike Grennes are certified GREAT instructors and teach the GREAT classes to seventh graders at Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, Immanuel Lutheran, and St. Paul’s middle schools.
Program Success The program continues to be successful, and each year hundreds of students are taught and graduate from the program. As an incentive for good behavior and program completion, graduating students are allowed to attend the GREAT graduation party, where police officers and staff join with students in a safe evening of fun and celebration.
A local DJ provides music and entertainment along with access to swimming, basketball, volleyball, dancing, and carnival rides. The Valparaiso High School gymnasium, swimming facility, and field house are used to provide an excellent opportunity for police officers, school staff, students, and parents to come together and interact in an informal setting. To learn more about the GREAT program, please ask us.