APD again sponsors GREAT program

Published 10:25 am Wednesday, May 29, 2019

By Beth Alston

AMERICUS — Again, it’s going to be GREAT summer for local kids. That’s because the Americus Police Department is again sponsoring the G.R.E.A.T. (gang resistance education and training) Summer Program for rising fifth- and sixth-graders.

The G.R.E.A.T. Program starts on June 10 and ends on July 18, for a total of six weeks. The start time is 8:30 a.m. each Monday through Thursday at Sumter County Intermediate School. The school will provide food for the summer, but will not provide transportation this summer; therefore, parents are responsible for transportation to and from the program. Drop off and pick up will be at the school gym each morning and afternoon when class lets out at 3:30 p.m.

Each day breakfast will start around 8:45 a.m., after which class will be conducted in the class room starting at about 9:30 a.m. each day. Lunch is served each day around noon in the class room. The classes will last approximately 45 minutes per session.

The summer program curriculum is designed to reinforce the lessons taught during the school year. The lesson includes the working toward a perfect society, creating laws, communication skills, responding to peer pressure, how to resolve conflicts, and bullying. After class, students will break into smaller groups for games. The students are allowed to work together. They will brainstorm about feelings and the importance of following rules.

There will also be field trips, mostly on Thursdays, with visits to educational and fun locations. A tentative schedule includes Habitat for Humanity International in Americus, Jimmy Carter Boyhood Home at Archery, Andersonville National Historic Site, Stardust Skating Rink in Albany, Fun Park in Albany, and Hollywood Connections in Columbus. The cost is a one-time fee of $75 per student.

Registration for the G.R.E.A.T. Summer Program is ongoing. Stop by the front desk of the police department inside the Russell Thomas Jr. Public Safety Building, downtown and ask for an application. For more information call Sgt. John Brown at 229-924-3677, ext. 325 or 229-591-6432 or Sierra Harvey at 229-924-3677, ext. 328.