G.R.E.A.T. is designed to help children set goals for themselves, resist peer pressures, learn how to resolve conflicts without violence, and understand how gangs and youth violence impact the quality of their lives. G.R.E.A.T. students discover for themselves the true answers about gang and youth violence through structured exercises and interactive approaches to learning. Through the combined efforts of law enforcement, the schools, and the community, we can make a difference in children across America by providing them with the necessary skills and information to say "NO" to acts of random violence.
G.R.E.A.T. (Gang Resistance Education and Training) began in fiscal year 1992 through a partnership with the Phoenix Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF). With the help of other police departments, they developed a nine lesson middle school curriculum, with the goal of reducing gang involvement and youth violence. Since then, a shorter third/fourth grade and fifth/sixth grade curriculum as well as a summer component, have been developed. The purpose of the G.R.E.A.T. Program is to help children become responsible members of their communities by setting goals for themselves, resisting peer pressures, knowing how to resolve conflicts, and understanding how gangs impact the quality of their lives.
The Tennessee Highway Patrol in 1998 added G.R.E.A.T. to its highly successful D.A.R.E. program. This allowed us to reach more children in Tennessee with an additional law enforcement delivered curriculum designed to keep children safe. Six additional troopers were added, for a total of nine, with all being trained in both D.A.R.E. and G.R.E.A.T. The Highway Patrol has become one of the largest G.R.E.A.T. units in Tennessee, both in number of instructors and number of students taught. The unit makes G.R.E.A.T. available and instructs its curriculum from the Mississippi River to the Smoky Mountains.