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San Manuel Band donates $242,000 for gang prevention

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SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. – On March 3, San Manuel Band of Indians Chairman James Ramos presented a donation of $242,000 to the Stop the Violence Increase the Peace Foundation. The grant will focus on San Bernardino middle and high school students in an effort to prevent gang involvement and reverse the growing rates of high school drop-outs.

“It is critical for the community to support middle and high school students to make the right choices during this transitional period in their lives,” Ramos said. “It is our hope that these students will continue their educations and chart a career that will contribute to the community.”

The three-year, multi-tiered program will provide afterschool and high school graduation preparation classes to youth between the ages of 14 and 18, a parenting and gang awareness program entitled, “How Can I Tell if My Child is in a Gang and What to Do About It” and a Train-the-Trainer course at California State University, San Bernardino’s College of Extended Learning, with classes including, Substance Abuse, Conflict Resolution, Peer Mediation, and Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention-approved gang prevention and intervention courses. These classes will be offered for community residents and other professionals.

Stop the Violence Foundation will partner with the San Bernardino Countywide Gangs and Drugs Task Force, Young Visionaries Youth Leadership organization and other regional Inland Empire Violence Prevention agencies.

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The grant is part of a $484,000 project that will require a match from other funders and charities as a shared community investment. “The hope is that other funding agencies will step up and help to fund this critical project which is so vital for our children,” said Margaret Hill, assistant superintendent of San Bernardino County Schools.

Stop the Violence Increase the Peace Foundation is a member of the Inland Empire Violence Prevention Coalition, a group of more than 60 agencies funded by the California Wellness Foundation to provide capacity building and sustainability to agencies in the IE who provide services to the underserved. IEVPC member agencies currently provide services to schools including Moreno Valley Unified School District, Pomona Unified School District, Perris Unified School District, Jurupa Unified School District, Val Verde Unified School District and San Bernardino.