The Richmond Register

Education

May 18, 2013

GREAT bridges gap between cops, preteens

RICHMOND — Bridging the gap between public misconceptions about police officers and the reality of what’s behind the uniform can be a daunting task. But, a growing program at Madison County middle schools is helping break down those barriers.

Last week, 291 sixth-graders graduated from the Gang Resistance Education and Training program. Despite its title, RPD School Resource Officer Josh Hale said the curriculum encompasses a lot more than just gang prevention.

Started in the Midwest during the 1990s, GREAT’s 13 lessons cover a wide-range of topics, including anger management, anti-violence, decision-making, positive versus negative influences and refusal skills.

The program also teaches middle-schoolers how to know the difference between realistic and unrealistic goals, and how to set them to achieve success.

One part of the curriculum, anti-bullying, gets the most interest, Hale said.

“They really latch onto the lessons about bullying,” Hale said.

Hale and RPD School Resource Officer Whitney Maupin teach GREAT at the five city middle schools. Maupin also presents a shorter curriculum to a group of fifth-graders.

One of the main goals of the program is to build relationships between police officers and the children.

“It encompasses so much,” Hale said. “It gives us a chance to know these kids on a different level.”

By teaching the GREAT program, Hale said the middle-schoolers view the officers as more approachable.

“They want to tell their stories,” Hale said. “We hope we’ve made enough of an impression that it will help them in the future.”

Hale said the children want to know what it’s like to be on the force, and by teaching GREAT, the students learn that officers are human and have a life outside of work.

In order to graduate from GREAT, each student must complete a final project on a topic that will help make their community or school a better place. Some of the topics have included bullying, graffiti prevention, violence and littering.

The students have used posters, Power Point software and websites to present their final projects, and they are graded by their teachers, Hale said.

The program has been in Madison County Schools for four years and has shown incredible growth. The first year, 25 children graduated. This year, 291 children participated in a ceremony last week at Madison Middle School where they received a certificate of completion and a T-shirt.

The participants also were treated to cake and ice cream after the ceremony.

Maupin and Hale run a summer camp program with Madison County children ages 11 to 14, and they often select graduates of the GREAT program to participate. Last year they had about 50 campers, plus some junior counselors.

Hale said the middle school teachers love the program and welcome the officers into the classroom.

“It’s a good way to close the gap between the public and police,” Hale said.

Sarah Hogsed can be reached at shogsed@richmondregister.com or 624-6694.

1
Text Only
Education
  • 7-29 YMCA-Schools.jpg YMCA, county district to provide after-school care

    The Telford YMCA is partnering with the Madison County School District to provide after-school child care for kindergarten and elementary students.
    YMCA Executive Director Dave Wallace and Madison County School Superintendent Elmer Thomas announced the partnership Monday afternoon.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-25 Camp Invention 1.jpg Young inventors turn trash to treasure

    The first day of Camp Invention began with a room full of objects ready to be recycled, Sarah Shaffer, director of the camp said Thursday.

    July 24, 2014 6 Photos

  • 7-22 Band Camp 1.jpg Band students ‛take over’ MCHS campus

    The Madison Central High School campus has been “taken over” for two weeks by 170 students attending band camp.

    July 21, 2014 6 Photos

  • 7-22 Child vs Wild Camp 3.jpg Campers learn hazards of the ‛wild’

    Fifteen “Child vs. Wild” campers crowded around a plate full of gooey marshmallows, freshly toasted by camp leaders on a St. Mark Catholic School stovetop Monday.

    July 21, 2014 3 Photos

  • MCHS, Caudill win world archery titles

    Caudill Middle School and Madison Central High School won their divisions in the National Archery in Schools Program World Championships in Madison, Wisc. this past weekend

    The win is a third consecutive title for Caudill Middle School and a first for MCHS.

    July 13, 2014

  • 7-12 White Hall principal.jpg Eversole returns to White Hall as principal

    The White Hall Elementary School-based Decision-making Council has selected Monica Eversole as the school’s new principal.
    Eversole was serving as guidance counselor at Lexington’s Dixie Magnet Elementary School.

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • School board to save $53,000 yearly by refinancing bonds

    The Madison County School Board authorized issuance of almost $10.5 million in school building revenue bonds at its monthly meeting Thursday.
    The board approved a recommendation from the Madison County School District Finance Corporation to issue slightly more than $10.49 million in bonds to help finance renovation projects at three district elementary schools.

    July 12, 2014

  • Madison Kindergarten Academy at Mayfield

    The kindergarten center that will serve the county’s four Richmond elementary schools will be known as the Madison Kindergarten Academy at Mayfield.
    The Madison County School Board at its monthly meeting Thursday night chose the name for the all-kindergarten academy that will be housed in the former Mayfield Elementary School.

    July 10, 2014

  • Naming of kindergarten academy on school board agenda

    Naming of the new kindergarten academy to be housed in the former Mayfield Elementary School building is on the Madison County School Board’s agenda Thursday evening.
    The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. in the Madison Central High School lecture lab.

    July 8, 2014

  • Bluegrass Christian School closes

    Bluegrass Christian School did not get enough enrollment contracts by June 30, and its board of directors has decided to cease operations.
    The school will be dissolved Aug. 1., according to a Tuesday statement from the six-member board.
    Families may pick up transcripts, records and prepaid tuition or application fees the week of July 21, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the statement added.

    July 2, 2014