Gang Prevention Program Seeking Partner Organizations


Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
703-324-3187, TTY 711, FAX 703-324-2010

March 13, 2006

Gang Prevention Program for Elementary School Children Is Seeking Partner Organizations

“Smart Kids/Safe Choices” is a new violence/gang prevention project with a focus on youth in grades four through six. This prevention effort is being coordinated by the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board as one part of the county’s overall gang prevention strategy. The Community Services Board is seeking 20 area community organizations, which can include faith-based groups, service organizations and clubs, or others interested in partnering, to implement this program in Fairfax County.

“Our goal is to build the capacity of community groups to deliver effective prevention programs. Working together, we can reach a broad range of youth while developing their skills to resist gang involvement and violence,” said Bob Bermingham, Fairfax County’s gang prevention coordinator.

Grant funding will provide partner organizations with free training, all required materials, ongoing support and a stipend upon successful completion of program requirements.

“Smart Kids/Safe Choices” is designed to help kids avoid gang involvement, feel safe in their neighborhoods, develop conflict resolution skills, become more aware of the legal consequences of certain choices and become involved in healthy activities. The program is designed to be delivered in community settings and includes a parent and caregiver component.

The program is one part of a grant initiative funded through the Virginia Department of Criminal Services under the “Funds to Combat Gangs in Virginia” project.  The grant is a collaborative project, managed by Bermingham.

For more information on “Smart Kids/Safe Choices”and to find out the requirements for becoming a partnering organization, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/csb/prevention/smartkids.htm, e-mail Ken Barter at kenneth.barter@fairfaxcounty.gov or Jamie MacDonald at jamie.macdonald@fairfaxcounty.gov, or call 703-934-5476, TTY 711. 

To request this information in an alternate format, call the Office of Public Affairs at 703-324-3187, TTY 711.

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