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For Immediate Release:  
For Further Information Contact:
June 16, 2005

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

 

Tracy Munford
609-341-3235 or 973-504-6341

 

PROJECT VISION - Changing Lives…
New Jersey Attorney General, Cumberland County Prosecutor, Bridgeton Mayor and Community Activists Visit "PROJECT VISION: BRIDGETON"
State’s Only After-School Daily Gang Prevention Program Serves More Than 100 Bridgeton Youth in Cumberland County

>> Project Vision brochure eng I esp

Bridgeton - New Jersey Attorney General Peter C. Harvey, Cumberland County Prosecutor Ronald J. Casella, Bridgeton Mayor Michael Pirolli and Vaughn McCoy, Director of the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice in the Office of the Attorney General today recognized the success “PROJECT VISION – BRIDGETON” and the partnership between the Office of the Attorney General, the Cumberland County Prosecutor, the Bridgeton Municipal Alliance Youth-to-Youth Program, the Tri-County Community Action Partnership and parents and students in keeping Bridgeton youth off the streets and providing safe havens for them after school. The officials visited with more than 60 youth and members of the Bridgeton ROTC participating in PROJECT VISION: Bridgeton today where student mentors assisted younger students with arts and crafts, computer development, tutoring and other skills.

Today’s program was held at the Southeast Bridgeton Recreation Center where the Bridgeton Municipal Alliance Youth-to-Youth Program is held. Overseeing activities at the Center is Director Karen Barnett, who participated in today’s program. PROJECT VISION funding also supports the Tri-County Community Action Partnership. President of the Partnership, Albert Kelly, participated in today’s program also.

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.”
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 and robbing young people of their future 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.”

Cumberland County Prosecutor Casella whose office is administering the program said, “Project Vision is providing our children the opportunity to develop strong values from caring adults and it is providing our best deterrent against the destructive appeal of gang life.”

Students enrolled in PROJECT VISION - BRIDGETON 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. Students participating in PROJECT VISION through the Youth-Youth Program mentor younger students. Bridgeton Municipal Alliance Youth-to-Youth program participants range in age from 5 to 18 years. More than 60 students are registered in the program. In addition, more than 45 students between four and six years old from the Tri-County Community Action Partnership are participating in PROJECT VISION – BRIDGETON.

Mayor Pirolli said, “I thank the Attorney General for including the children of Bridgeton in this important program and for his vision to improve the lives of children across the state. Our children are our most precious resource. The best way to ensure that they will become responsible, productive adults is to surround them with a positive environment with positive people and with the tools, such as technology, that will allow them to grow and learn and resist gangs.”

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

The Attorney General added that PROJECT VISION will expand in the fall to include eight new Phase II sites in Atlantic, Bergen, Camden, Mercer, Passaic, Salem, Somerset and Union Counties. Also participating in today's
event were Assemblyman JOHN J. BURZICHELLI, Legislative District 3, Assemblyman DOUGLAS H. FISHER, Legislative District 3, Dr. Victor Gilson, Superintendent of Bridgeton Schools

>> Project Vision brochure eng I esp

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