Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T.)

What does G.R.E.A.T stand for? Gang Resistance Education and Training

What is the Program Vision? Building Safer Communities One Child at a Time

What is the Program Mission? Prevent Youth Crime, Violence, and Gang Involvement

How will it work in ERUSD? Officer Carlos Flores is leading the integration of the GREAT vision and mission in the District’s middle schools, along with the positive aspects of the Character Counts! program.

What’s involved?
The U.S. Department of Justice designed the program to help youth develop positive life skills that will enable them to avoid gang involvement and violent behavior. It’s a community-wide approach using a curriculum developed through the collaborative efforts of law enforcement officers, specialists in criminology, sociology, psychology, education, and health to: • Provide children with the skills necessary to combat the stresses that set the stage of gang involvement. • Provide children with accurate knowledge about gang involvement. • Provide children with the skills necessary to resolve conflicts peacefully. • Help children understand the need to set realistic goals.

The GREAT Program consists of four interrelated components designed to target different audiences. Each component has outlined lessons to fit the target group’s needs and skills as well as being age-appropriate in its goals. Each component can stand alone in teaching and forging skills and attitudes that will ultimately help youngsters at risk to resist gang pressures and acts leading to violence.

The Middle School Component is the core and foundation of the program. The middle school component must be taught in each jurisdiction where the GREAT program is being implemented. The Elementary, Summer, and Families Components are not mandatory, but they greatly enhance and reinforce the concepts taught in the Middle School curriculum.

GREAT Program Instructor, Officer Carlos Flores, has already taught over 400 students in Burke and Rivera Middle Schools. In addition, the Summer component consisted of four weeks instruction to 38 students from North Park Middle School. The summer topics included Anger Management, Decision Making Skills, Community, and Goal Setting. In addition to that curricula, field trips to the Museum of Tolerance, the California Science Center, and Chantry Flats in the Arcadia Mountains gave students more perspective into their community. Students were treated to a variety of speakers from all walks of life, including clergy, law enforcement, and school administrators.

Officer Flores says that combining the GREAT Program with Character Counts! was a two-prong effort to give special assistance to those students who most need decision making skills and communication. Flores says the combined programs have produced promising results.

ERUSD is fortunate to have the qualified services of Officer Flores and Character Counts! team member, Alma Garcia bringing this successful nationwide program into the District. We believe that these programs will allow our students to practice positive behaviors that will remain with them during the remainder of their developmental years.

Officer Carlos Flores, G.R.E.A.T. Program Instructor

For additional information regarding the GREAT program, contact Officer Flores at

The Gang Resistance Education And Training (G.R.E.A.T.) Program is a school-based, law enforcement officer-instructed classroom curriculum. The program's primary objective is prevention and is intended as an immunization against delinquency, youth violence, and gang membership. G.R.E.A.T. lessons focus on providing life skills to students to help them avoid delinquent behavior and violence to solve problems. The G.R.E.A.T. Program, previously administered by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), is now administered by the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), a component of the Office of Justice Programs (OJP), U.S. Department of Justice. Since its inception in 1991, over 8,000 law enforcement officers have been certified as G.R.E.A.T. instructors and more than 4 million students have graduated from the G.R.E.A.T. Program. G.R.E.A.T. has developed partnerships with nationally recognized organizations, such as the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the National Association of Police Athletic Leagues. These partnerships encourage positive relationships among the community, parents, schools, and law enforcement officers. G.R.E.A.T. lessons focus on providing life skills to students to help them avoid using delinquent behavior and violence to solve problems. The G.R.E.A.T. Program offers a continuum of components for students and their families. The G.R.E.A.T. Program consists of four components: a 13-session middle school curriculum, an elementary school curriculum, a summer program, and families training.