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PROJECT SAFE NEIGHBORHOOD: Peacemakers

Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice is committed to keeping our young people away from the street life of drugs and gangs. With that commitment in mind, her office works with five school districts; Freeport, Hempstead, Roosevelt, Uniondale, and Westbury to develop creative ways to foster safe schools. The team of school officials, business reps and law enforcement planners has found unique and practical ways to make peaceful living and nonviolence a way of life for our youth.  Several participating schools have been working with a nationally acclaimed curriculum called Peacemakers. Peacemakers

The Peacemakers program, developed by Jeremy Shapiro, PhD, teaches upper elementary- and middle school-aged students positive values and attitudes related to violence. Youth are trained in anger management, problem solving, communication, assertiveness and conflict resolution. Instead of being delivered like a lesson, the Peacemakers principles are taught through school activities.

Each of the schools has found a creative way to infuse the powerful lessons on getting along into their school culture. From our violence prevention “incubator” dozens of creative projects have been generated including teen developed TV PSAs; Peacemaker coached sports such as basketball, handball, tennis, and wrestling; art projects; CPR, and even ballroom dancing. If you are interested in being part of our monthly meetings or learning more about the program feel free to email Maria.Ploth@nassauda.org.

**Rice Honors Local Middle School Winners of Anti-Violence Poster Contest**

WALL OF HOPE: Building hope from a tragedy

In January 2008, young Mikey Alguera was senselessly murdered on Hempstead High School’s abandoned handball court. Determined to restore the courts to our youth, Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice's office is working with community groups to raise funds to build new, safe handball courts at Hempstead High School. In the process, DA Rice's office learned that handball is an immensely popular sport among our youth, especially Latino youth, and yet there is no handball program in our public schools. In Mikey's memory, the office is supporting this positive campaign to build the new courts and create Long Island’s first intramural handball program. All who are interested in helping can contact our office or the Family and Children’s’ Association at (516) 746-0350.

Teaching Responsible Gun Ownership

Communities Addressing Responsible Gun Ownership (CARGO) is an innovative approach to protecting our children from accidental and impulsive gun shot injuries.  It educates adults and youth on the devastating effects of guns as well as the laws surrounding weapons.  It is a collaboration of the Nassau County District Attorney’s office and law enforcement. The CARGO multi-disciplinary team educates participants about firearm safety and responsibility. During the program, a law enforcement officer provides information about safe gun storage, responsible parenting and safe gun handling. A prosecutor highlights specific cases and laws involving firearms.

If you have any questions about any Community Affairs programs, please call (516) 571-1090 or email Rene.Fiechter@nassauda.org.