HPD officers to mentor at-risk youth

March 27, 2008 6:57:45 PM PDT
In a joint pilot program launched Wednesday, March 26, the Houston Police Department will join the Harris County Department of Education's Cooperative for After-School Enrichment (CASE) and Harris County Constable Precinct Six in reaching out as mentors to at-risk youth in after-school programs at four inner-city schools.CASE provides after-school programs in 108 after-school sites in Harris County for about 10,000 students in elementary through high school in greater Harris County. The CASE mission is to strengthen, support, and sustain after-school for all children. Formed in 1999 by Harris County Department of Education, the CASE vision is to ensure that every child in Harris County has access to a quality after-school program.

The introduction of the Law Enforcement Mentoring Program serves to enhance CASE's mission statement by pairing officers with after-school youth to enrich relationships with students and their families. The pilot program will start at four schools this spring and hopefully expand next year. The identified schools for the pilot program are Fondren Middle School in southwest Houston, Cullen Middle School in southeast Houston, N.Q. Henderson Elementary School and Scoggins Elementary School in north Houston.

The curriculum will involve a 45-minute to one-hour, 12-week session, covering topics such as: What is a Police Officer, Personal Safety; Community Safety; and Family Participation. "By getting to know these officers on a personal level, students see that police officers are here to help improve the quality of life in their communities," said Shannon Bishop, director of CASE.

To learn more about the Harris County CASE program, please visit www.hcde-texas.org