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For Immediate Release:  
For Further Information Contact:
January 31, 2005

Office of The Attorney General
- Peter C. Harvey, Attorney General

 

Tracy Munford
609-341-3235
or 609-571-5101

 
Changing Lives…
New Jersey Attorney General, Gloucester County Prosecutor and Philadelphia 76ers Launch Anti-Gang After School Program for Glassboro Youth
 
Former National Basketball Association Player & Philadelphia 76ers Ambassador of Basketball World B. Free Join Boys & Girls Club To Kickoff After School Program  
     

Glassboro – New Jersey Attorney General Peter C. Harvey, Gloucester County Prosecutor Sean Dalton and former National Basketball Association player and representative of the 76ers Ambassadors of Basketball World B. Free today launched PROJECT VISION New Jersey at the Glassboro Boys & Girls Club, located at the Main Public Library at 2 Center Street in Glassboro. PROJECT VISION is an after-school program created by the Attorney General as a partnership with county prosecutors and community based organizations to support and establish after school programs throughout New Jersey that provide safe havens for children and teens. The theme for PROJECT VISION is “Protecting our Future, Preparing our Children.”

Attorney General Harvey, Prosecutor Dalton and Philadelphia 76ers and Flyers Vice President Dave Coskey were joined by Free, elected officials, Boys & Girls Club youth and board members, employees of the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s office, community activists and parents at the kickoff of PROJECT VISION – Glassboro.

The essential mission of PROJECT VISION, which the Attorney General established through the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice, is to surround children with caring adults and teach lessons and skills that will turn youth away from gangs. The eight core elements of PROJECT VISION are personal responsibility, caring adults, safe havens, personal safety, academic development, life skills, career awareness and community service.

"PROJECT VISION gives children a vision of themselves for tomorrow. Youth violence related to gang activity is growing. It is robbing young people of their futures and turning our communities into firing ranges," said Attorney General Harvey. "We are punishing those who commit gang related crimes, but we also must turn youth away from the false glamour of gang life through educational outreach. The core mission of PROJECT VISION is to provide that outreach and help us win the battle for our children."

Gloucester County Prosecutor Dalton said, “"The skills being provided through Project Vision will assist area youth in making good decisions about their future. We are happy to be working with the Glassboro Boys & Girls Club. I also want to thank Attorney General Harvey for his leadership and support of this program."

Students enrolled in PROJECT VISION - GLASSBORO receive personal responsibility lessons that emphasize decision-making skills, fair play and respect for others and self. Lessons in personal safety include instruction about the dangers of gangs. Community service lessons focus on community pride and the spirit of volunteerism. A weekly workshop on conflict resolution is also provided by staff of the Prosecutor’s Office. All of the programs are provided in a safe atmosphere with the help of caring adults, including mentors from the Prosecutor’s Office, local law enforcement and community organizations.

According to Boys and Girls Club Board Chair Dan Dalton, “Working with the Prosecutor’s Office and the Attorney General’s Project Vision Program is allowing the Boys & Girls Club to bring great resources to the youth of Glassboro.”

The eight core elements of PROJECT VISION provide the foundation for children and teens to develop into positive adults and to understand and participate in positive programs that are alternatives to the violence of the streets,” said Harvey.

“We are most pleased that the Attorney General has chosen Glassboro as a pilot for PROJECT VISION,” added Glassboro Mayor Leo McCabe. “We are proud of the progress the Club has made in such a short time with the dynamic leadership of the executive director and staff.”

World B. Free provided a motivational message to the students about positive alternatives to participating in gangs and engaging in negative behavior. Free, a member of the Sixers from 1975 to 1988 serves as Ambassador of Basketball for the Philadelphia 76ers visiting schools, recreation centers and playgrounds in the Delaware Valley region and Pennsylvania teaching the fundamentals of teamwork, basketball and life.

A $50,000 grant was awarded to the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office for PROJECT VISION from the Division of Criminal Justice. PROJECT VISION programs also are being developed in Bridgeton in Cumberland County; Asbury Park in Monmouth County and Irvington in Essex County. PROJECT VISION – New Brunswick was launched in December.

Also participating in today’s kickoff were Gloucester County Freeholder Director and Senator Stephen Sweeney, Freeholder Joseph Brigandi Jr., members of the Glassboro Borough Council and Police Department and volunteers from Rowan University.

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