Monday, May 23, 2016

"Anti-gang program raises hopes at Lake Worth elementary school"

The Post's Hannah Winston has this article which also appeared in the Sunday (5/22) print edition. Here are two excerpts:

     Now in its third year, the [anti-gang] program selects 20 at-risk, fifth-grade students at the elementary school who work once a week for 12 weeks with PBSO deputies building Lego motorized cars. For the past three years, the program helped the students create relationships with law enforcement and build confidence in themselves, with a goal to to steer them away from area gang influences.
     While deputies say they need at least five years of data to track how well the program is working, the results have been positive enough that they’re expanding the program to North Grade Elementary next school year.

[and. . .]

     “If you only had hand-me-down sneakers and you see all your friends with brand-new Nikes you can say, 'Wow (joining a gang) might be a way that I get something.’ ” she [South Grade Elementary art teacher Rebecca Hinson] said. “If your brother’s in a gang, or your cousin is in a gang and your uncle is in a gang, that might be your destiny. Unless an intervention comes in your life like this.”
     [PBSO Cpt.] Baer, who served as a Lake Worth police officer for 12 years before PBSO took over patrolling the city in 2008, said there isn’t a societal issue that Lake Worth doesn’t deal with daily.

Encourage everyone to read the entire article; it's a good read and explains a lot about what the schools, teachers, and PBSO have to deal with on a daily basis.

On a humorous side note it was Hannah Winston who was in Lake Worth last March 15th, election day. She went to polling places and tried to gauge the public mood of the voters that day, and, well, she may have been better off interviewing some different people. The election results later that night proved the City's residents were in a very different mood than the people who were interviewed. Read about that using this link and scroll down to near the bottom of that blog post.