Experts say developing a positive relationship between law enforcement and the public should start at a young age. That’s the idea behind an Erie-based initiative.
Character, Be About It is a preventative, curriculum-based program with a goal to end what’s called, the ‘school to prison pipeline’. The initiative is meant to teach students from kindergarten through 8th grade how to improve behaviors in school and in the community.
Today, the founder, Matthew Harris, who is a Strong Vincent graduate, says his law enforcement background encouraged him to start the program. “If they get a positive program like this, the juvenile offenders are gonna decrease and if the juvenile offenders decrease then the adult prison system will decrease.”
Thousands of students in the Erie School District are now taking part in the program. “Helping them cope with their anger and stuff like that, trying to get them even more… free about their emotions and keep self-control at the same time”.