Frequently Asked Questions

Public

 

What does G.R.E.A.T. mean?

The Gang Resistance Education And Training (G.R.E.A.T.) Program is an evidence-based, national and international gang and violence prevention program that has been building trust between law enforcement and youth for almost 30 years.

Are law enforcement officers the only people who can teach G.R.E.A.T.?

The following criminal justice professionals are eligible to become certified G.R.E.A.T. instructors: sworn local, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement officers and agents; military police; and other sworn law enforcement personnel receiving approval from the Program Office, including probation or corrections officers and reserve, part-time, or retired police officers.

Other criminal justice professionals who are certified by government agencies, including state-certified school safety or school security officers employed by school districts, can be considered upon written request; approval by the International Training Committee will be based on the applicant’s experience with juvenile justice or gang-related activities and the inability of area law enforcement agencies to provide G.R.E.A.T. to students whom the requesting agency proposes to teach.

Does G.R.E.A.T. offer any type of program in my community over the summer?

To find a summer program in your area, contact your G.R.E.A.T. instructor at his or her agency for more information. For assistance in locating the G.R.E.A.T. instructors in your area, please contact the G.R.E.A.T. Program Office.

Does G.R.E.A.T. have any gang statistics available?

No, G.R.E.A.T. does not conduct any research on gang activity. However, the National Gang Center has specific information, resources, and gang-related publications.

How do I get a G.R.E.A.T. representative to come speak at schools or agencies in my community?

If G.R.E.A.T. is already taught at another school in your area, contact your local law enforcement agency so it can get involved with your school as well. If you do not know of any agencies in your area that conduct the G.R.E.A.T. Program, contact the G.R.E.A.T. Program Office for assistance in identifying G.R.E.A.T. agencies in your area.

Does G.R.E.A.T. address bullying?

The G.R.E.A.T. Program teaches children life skills that are useful in making choices and decisions and in setting goals for their future. Through role-playing scenarios and structured activities, G.R.E.A.T. shows children how to interact with others, communicate, resolve conflict, and manage anger. These skills, taught in three components of the G.R.E.A.T. Program, indirectly address bullying issues.

However, there are several lessons in the G.R.E.A.T. Program that directly address bullying. The Addressing Bullying page has more details regarding specific discussions, role play, etc., on this topic.

Where can I purchase G.R.E.A.T. merchandise?

G.R.E.A.T. merchandise can be purchased from our G.R.E.A.T. Authorized Vendors.

What is “Choose to Be G.R.E.A.T.” Week?

“Choose to Be G.R.E.A.T.” Week is an awareness week that is observed annually during the month of October. The purpose is to draw awareness to the G.R.E.A.T. Program and to give the students a sense of community as well as a sense of pride in their G.R.E.A.T. skills, which are taught in the lessons of the Program.

Throughout this week, law enforcement officers across the United States and in Central America invite their G.R.E.A.T. students to sign the official G.R.E.A.T. Pledge: “I pledge to use my G.R.E.A.T. skills to reduce violence in my community, work to resolve conflicts peacefully, and stop bullying whenever I see it.”

Educators

 

How is the G.R.E.A.T. Program funded, and how much does it cost for my school?

Because the G.R.E.A.T. Program is funded through the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention—a component of the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice—there is no fiscal cost to the school. Schools provide time for the officer to instruct in the classroom.

How do I find out if an officer is teaching in my area?

Please contact your local police and/or sheriff’s department to see if the G.R.E.A.T. Program is offered in your area.

How can I get free handbooks as an educator?

Free handbooks are available in bulk only to active, certified G.R.E.A.T. instructors. Others may request a sample copy by e-mailing the G.R.E.A.T. Program Office at information@great-online.org or by calling (800) 726-7070.

There are 13 lessons in the middle school curriculum. Does that mean a G.R.E.A.T. instructor will be in my classroom for 13 weeks?

Not necessarily. Although the curriculum is designed to be taught once a week for 13 weeks, it can be taught more frequently, if necessary. Policy requires that the lessons be presented in sequence with no less than one day and no more than two weeks between lessons. Research shows that teaching only once a week allows for better absorption of the materials and skills taught before moving on to the next lesson. If taught less often than weekly (twice or once a month), the continuity and progressive learning may be disrupted. If it is necessary to shorten the time frame to less than 13 weeks, two lessons may be taught in one week to shorten the overall length of the course, but it is recommended that this be done no more than necessary.

Does G.R.E.A.T. offer a way for a teacher to evaluate the G.R.E.A.T. instructor in the classroom?

Yes. Teachers may evaluate the presentation skills of the G.R.E.A.T. instructor teaching in his or her classroom by completing the G.R.E.A.T. Instructor Classroom Evaluation form.

How do I report inappropriate behavior of my G.R.E.A.T. instructor?

There are multiple ways to report inappropriate behavior of your G.R.E.A.T. instructor, including contacting the instructor’s commanding officer at his or her agency or contacting the G.R.E.A.T. Program Office at information@great-online.com or (800) 726-7070.

Law Enforcement

 

What is the Law Enforcement and Educational Agency Agreement?

The Law Enforcement and Educational Agency (LE/Ed) Agreement establishes the mutual commitment between a school or after-school program and a law enforcement agency to provide youth with the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to resist the pressures of gangs and their influence. For further information, please visit the Establishing a G.R.E.A.T. Program page.

How do I know if my agency has a Law Enforcement and Educational Agency Agreement on file with the G.R.E.A.T. Program Office?

When a new applicant applies to attend a training, a valid Law Enforcement and Educational Agency Agreement must be in place for the agency. If the agreement has expired, the G.R.E.A.T. Program Office will request that a new agreement be signed for the upcoming year. The agreement will expire one year from the date of the signature.

If you are unsure, please check with the G.R.E.A.T. Program Office by calling (800) 726-7070 or by sending an e-mail to information@great-online.org.

I am past the deadline for submitting an application to attend a G.R.E.A.T. Officer Training. Can I still submit an application for the class?

In some cases, it may still be possible, if space remains. Please note that the G.R.E.A.T. Officer Training (GOT) has been transformed into a two-part training. The previous GOT consisted of eight days of classroom instruction with a one-hour online computer-based training. The new, streamlined GOT begins with an online training module, estimated at 9 to 10 hours, which replaces 20 hours of classroom instruction and must be completed no later than one week prior to attending the GOT. Please contact the G.R.E.A.T. Program Office at (800) 726-7070 to inquire about the possibility of late registration.

Why do I need an Instructor/Applicant Resources account?

The online account allows the instructor to access the classroom materials, view updated curriculum and slideshows, and update contact information.

How can I order free handbooks as a G.R.E.A.T. instructor?

G.R.E.A.T. student handbooks are offered free of charge to all active G.R.E.A.T. instructors. Please log in to your Instructor/Applicant Resources account using your e-mail address and the password you provided. Click on “Instructor Resources.” Under “Classroom Materials,” you will find an online link to order handbooks or the downloadable PDF form that you can complete and return.

How can I order free G.R.E.A.T. Families workbooks as a G.R.E.A.T. Families Facilitator?

G.R.E.A.T. Families workbooks are offered free of charge to all active G.R.E.A.T. Families Facilitators. Please log in to your Instructor/Applicant Resources account using your e-mail address and the password you provided. Click on “Instructor Resources.” Under “Classroom Materials,” you will find the downloadable PDF form that you can complete and return.

Where can I obtain student graduation certificates?

Student graduation certificates are automatically included with your handbook order. It is no longer necessary to place a separate certificate order.

How is the G.R.E.A.T. Program funded, and how much does it cost for my agency?

The G.R.E.A.T. Program is funded in the U.S. through the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention—a component of the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice—so there is no tuition cost to attend a training. Depending on your location relative to the training, there may be some basic travel and subsistence expenses. Essential materials for conducting courses are also provided at no cost. See the "Program Costs" section of this Web site for information related to other possible costs. For the G.R.E.A.T. Program in Central America, funding is provided through the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, U.S. Department of State, in cooperation with the national government of each participating country.

How do I get more information about G.R.E.A.T. training for law enforcement officers?

Please visit the Training section for basic information. If you have further questions, please contact the G.R.E.A.T. Program Office at (800) 726-7070.

How do I obtain a copy of the G.R.E.A.T. Training Procedures?

The PDF version of the Training Procedures may be viewed, downloaded, and printed through this link.

How do I obtain a copy of the G.R.E.A.T. Policy Manual?

The PDF version of the Policy Manual may be viewed, downloaded, and printed through this link.

What types of training does G.R.E.A.T. provide?

G.R.E.A.T. offers three types of trainings: the G.R.E.A.T. Officer Training (GOT), the G.R.E.A.T. Families Training (GFT) and, after you have been certified as a G.R.E.A.T. instructor for a year, the G.R.E.A.T. Officer In- Service Training (GOI). To learn more about these trainings and the prerequisites to attend, visit the Training section.

Is lodging provided at the GOT, GOI, or GFT trainings?

For all trainings in the U.S., lodging and travel expenses, if necessary, are the responsibility of the applicant’s agency.

When is the next training in my region?

Please visit our Training Schedule page.

Which Regional Training Center does my agency belong to, and how do I contact someone in that region?

The Regional Training Centers map shows a breakdown of the regions by state and provides contact information for each region.

How do I apply for a G.R.E.A.T. training?

U.S. officers interested in becoming certified G.R.E.A.T. instructors must submit a completed G.R.E.A.T. Officer Training Application. G.R.E.A.T. trainings are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. In Central America, officers must pass a vetting process conducted through the U.S. Embassy before being accepted into training. For more information on how to be included, inquire through the supervisory structure within your agency.

I am past the deadline for submitting an application to attend a G.R.E.A.T. Officer Training. Can I still submit an application for the class?

In some cases it may still be possible, if space remains. Please contact the G.R.E.A.T. Program Office at (800) 726-7070 to inquire about the possibility of late registration.

There are 13 lessons in the middle school curriculum. Does that mean I have to teach it for a full 13 weeks?

No. Although the curriculum is designed to be taught once a week for 13 weeks, it can be taught more frequently, if necessary. Research shows that teaching only once a week allows for better absorption of the materials and skills taught before moving on to the next lesson. If taught less often than weekly (twice or once a month), the continuity and progressive learning may be disrupted. The lessons must be presented in sequence with no less than one day and no more than two weeks between lessons.

Why do I need an Instructor/Applicant Resources account?

The online account allows the instructor or applicant to access the online handbook order form, view updated curriculum and slideshows, and update contact information.

I am having trouble logging in to my Instructor/Applicant Resources account.

You may request assistance by sending an e-mail to information@great-online.org or by calling (800) 726-7070.

How can I order free G.R.E.A.T. Families workbooks as a G.R.E.A.T. instructor?

G.R.E.A.T. Families workbooks are offered free of charge to all active G.R.E.A.T. Families Facilitators. Please log in to your Instructor/Applicant Resources account to place your order.

Where can I order graduation certificates for the G.R.E.A.T. Families Component?

G.R.E.A.T. Families graduation certificates are automatically included with your G.R.E.A.T. Families workbook order.

How does my agency obtain permission to use the G.R.E.A.T. name and/or logo?

The G.R.E.A.T. name and logo are legally protected trademarks. Approval for use can be obtained only by requesting permission in writing from the G.R.E.A.T. Program Office. Please visit the G.R.E.A.T. Logo page for a request form.

What is GREATINFO?

GREATINFO is an e-mail list service for instructors, supervisors, and other adults involved in the G.R.E.A.T. Program where ideas and concerns can be shared, questions asked, and topics and/or research discussed that are relevant to the G.R.E.A.T. Program.

Parents/Guardians

 

My child is in a gang. What do I do?

Please refer to the Parents’ Guide to Gangs brochure: http://www.nationalgangcenter.gov/Parents-Guide-to-Gangs.

Is there a mentoring program in high school that my child can participate in after the middle school G.R.E.A.T. Program?

Please talk to your G.R.E.A.T. instructor or school counselor about possible mentoring programs in your area in which your child can participate.

How do I get my son/daughter enrolled into a G.R.E.A.T. class?

Contact your local law enforcement agency, which determines the schools or afterschool programs in which the G.R.E.A.T. curricula are taught. If you do not know which law enforcement agency in your area (if any) conducts the Program, contact the G.R.E.A.T. Regional Training Center in your area.

Can my child get community service hours for his or her G.R.E.A.T. Project?

Contact the community service organization for information on whether your child will be able to receive community service hours. If needed, the G.R.E.A.T. instructor can give you details about the purpose of the school service project, “Making My School a G.R.E.A.T. Place.”

What is the purpose of the family letters that my child brings home?

These letters serve to keep parents/guardians informed as to what learning activities their children are engaged in and to encourage them to ask their children about the skills that they are learning. Family bonding is one way to create resiliency in youths and to protect them from the influences of gangs and violent behavior. Therefore, the G.R.E.A.T. Program encourages family communication and involvement.

Are parents allowed to attend G.R.E.A.T. classes to see what their child is being taught?

Contact your child’s school for information about observing classroom activities.

Are parents allowed to attend their child’s G.R.E.A.T. graduation?

Contact your child’s G.R.E.A.T. instructor for details regarding the graduation ceremony.

Students

 

I’ve lost my student handbook. How do I get another one?

Please contact your G.R.E.A.T. instructor in charge of teaching your class.

How do I contact my G.R.E.A.T. instructor?

G.R.E.A.T. instructors facilitate the Program through their local law enforcement agencies. Please contact your local agency and ask for the person who instructs the G.R.E.A.T. Program in your school.

Can I get community service hours for my G.R.E.A.T. Project?

Contact the community service organization for information on whether you are able to receive community service hours. If needed, your G.R.E.A.T. instructor can give you details about the purpose of the project that may assist you in acquiring those hours.