The team intends to build a program that can be expanded to a citywide effort to connect local role models throughout Tacoma with school children during their lunch break. The team envisions businesses, neighborhood groups, faith-based organizations, community members and local organizations joining together to demonstrate that the community cares about the success of children. The group hopes to tie the mentoring program to an expanded citywide Clean-Sweep event.
Aspect of Crime Addressed
youth gang violence prevention
General Prevention Strategy
- Research and understand the risk factors, gaps, etc. related to gang activity, with a goal of identifying outreach and mentoring activities for youth.
- Perform outreach and mentoring, while creating a process as we learn what works and what doesn't.
- Connect kids with the community through activities like Fish Stick Friday's, Begin With Safe Team (with students participating).
- As process is fine tuned, add community members, City staff, healthy high school age students, local businesses.
- Develop a mentoring and outreach program designed to make a connection between kids and their communities by forming groups to visit schools for lunch hour and interact with kids.
- Target one geographical area of schools and propose the idea to principals to gauge levels of interest to determine which individual schools to target.
- Have initial lunch meetings with principals, counselors and other pertinent staff.
- Have subsequent lunch meetings with students.
- Organize at least one event (planning and hosting), like Clean Sweep.
- Assess and understand currently available programs and tools.
- Assess risk factors and root causes.
- Where is crime happening?
- Where are gang members coming from?
- What days and times are crimes happening?
- What is being done now and what could be done in the future?
- Explore parental involvement.
- Explore community outreach.
- Evaluate how tools such as the Healthy Youth Survey and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study, which studies the impact of divorce, broken homes and drug problems in the home, may be utilized.
- Explore early intervention during elementary school.
- Study the economic situation's impact on our youth.
- Determine what the "voids" are in the lives of gang members and potential gang members.
- Explore positive, enriching activities.
- Explore ways of imparting positive reinforcement.
- Explore alternatives to suspension.
- Study the "contamination effect" and ways to make positive changes.
- Change culture and perceptions.
- Study peer pressure and the need to fit in.
- Explore factors for success.
- Develop a youth violence prevention initiative.
- Explore supression (police department), intervention and prevention.
- Start small and narrow focus.
- Identify good resources that are working and place in an organized format.
- Tacoma 360
- Send community mentors, teams to talk to schools and raise awareness.
- Focus on positive things like workshops, lunches (informal conversations with children), in communities that children could get involved in.
- Social Workers, Community Resources (schools, police)
How will this proposal help reduce crime?
It will increase “protective factors”, promote engagement at an early age, promote the building of positive relationships and connections with the community.
How will this effort involve or include the community?
The community is to be involved in all levels of research, development, implementation and evaluation.
Who, in addition to those listed in the contacts sidebar above, will need to be involved to make this effort successful?
Children, schools, principals, City staff, neighborhood groups and councils, businesses, organizations, parents and pediatricians all need to be involved. Principals will be involved in the planning and creation, marketing, implementation, providing of expertise and feedback. All parties may be invited to the next meeting to share their research and resources, and asked to help with development, marketing, mentoring, participation in culminating event. An idea for the culminating event is to have a reward incentive - a Rainiers game with lunch included.
What pieces of information or resources are needed to move forward?
logistics (from principals)
Healthy Youth Survey (Melissa)
ACES training (Bob Sheehan / Julie Grevstad)