WHEN: May 22, 1 p.m.
WHERE: George Wythe High School, 4314 Crutchfield Street
The Richmond Violence Free Zone program is bringing one of the top teen dance crews in the country to George Wythe High School to reinforce the anti-violence program’s message of positive standards and making good decisions. Super Cr3w, season two winner of MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew, will perform at the school on May 22, thanks to The Richmond Outreach Center (The ROC).
“We are bringing this top entertainment group to promote positive role models for the students, as well as to show them that the Violence Free Zone Youth Advisors relate to their interests,” said VFZ Program Director and ROC Youth Director, Ronnie Ortiz. Unlike many entertainment groups popular with young people, Super Cr3w is known for having positive standards, for avoiding curse words in the music it dances to, and for “clean” dancing without sexual undertones.
In addition to the school appearance, The ROC will host Super Cr3w at its facility at 6255 Warwick Road on Saturday, May 23, at 1:30 pm (for youth ages 5-12) 6pm (open to everyone).
“This project will help change the negative pop-culture that pervades the mentalities of many George Wythe students and influences them to make poor decisions with lasting consequences. Further, it will reinforce the topics discussed in the after-school groups led by the Youth Advisors. Showcasing a group that has had tremendous success by making good decisions will further validate the lessons taught by the Youth Advisors,” said Geronimo Aguilar, Executive Director of The ROC.
The ROC implements the Violence Free Zone program in George Wythe High School. The VFZ created and directed nationwide by the Center for Neighborhood Enterprise, is producing measurable results in reducing youth violence and incidents in 28 schools across the country (Atlanta, 3; Baltimore, 2; Dallas, 14, Milwaukee, 8, and Richmond, 1). CNE works with community organizations in each location that hire and train “Youth Advisors” who have the same background or experiences as the students to work full-time in the school as mentors. The ROC has 12 Youth Advisors working in George Wythe High School.
During the first four months of the VFZ program at George Wythe, Richmond Public Schools data shows that incidents decreased by 22%, out-of-school suspensions decreased 3%; expulsions decreased 71%; and drop-outs decreased 17% compared to the same period one year ago. The results reflect a close collaboration between Richmond Public Schools, the Richmond Police Department, GWHS Principal Willie Bell, school teaching, counseling, and safety staff, School Resource Officers (SRO), and the Violence Free Zone staff.
In addition to the RPS reports, Richmond Police data shows substantial reductions in arrests and incidents reported by School Resource Officers at the school. Arrests of students dropped from 52 to 32 (down 38%), and SRO reported incidents from 50 to 27 (down 46%) compared to the same period one year ago. Police officials also credited the program with reducing some crime in the immediate neighborhood. Motor Vehicle thefts, a crime largely attributed to juveniles, were down 73% (from 64 to 17) in the sector.
In addition to implementing the Violence Free Zone in Richmond, The ROC, founded in 2001, has more than 100 ministries providing a variety of services to low-income, at-risk youth and families. More than 1,000 children are transported by bus to The ROC every Saturday to participate in positive activities.