Midland County Violence Prevention Partnership
"Violence is a learned behavior. Like all learned behaviors, it can be changed."
— Mothers Against Teen Violence
The Midland County Violence Prevention Partnership was recently highlighted on an international program called "A World of Possibilities."
The Midland County Violence Prevention Partnership's mission is to actively promote the safety and well-being of its citizens by preventing youth violence and gang activities through awareness, education, collaboration and involvement.
Prevention is the Key
Youth violence is not a new problem in our society. While most think this is just a "big city" problem, it also has crept its way into the backyards of hometown families. The Midland County Violence Prevention Partnership realizes the urgency of this epidemic and agrees with the American Medical Association in that "More school suspensions and more prisons are not the answer. The answer, rooted in public health, is prevention." The Midland County Violence Prevention Partnership helps our young people through engaging communities and building awareness of the issues young people could face on a daily basis. Education and awareness are two key partners in prevention. Intercepting the problem before young people can act upon their negative ideas or intentions. The partnership helps schools and other organizations discern potential problems and offer assistance before the issue fully develops. It shows young people that violence isn't the answer to their problems. By offering more positive solutions, it can help steer kids in the right direction before they make a decision that could negatively effect them for the rest of their lives. Since the program was developed in 1998, it has committed to engaging young people in ways that will curb violence and gang activity. It holds high standards for the quality of life it wants for young people and will work hard to ensure a promising future for today's developing leaders.
How Do We Work?
The Midland County Violence Prevention Partnership of the Midland Area Community Foundation works to eliminate and prevent gang activity, bullying, and other youth violence in our communities. It interacts with city officials, community leaders, youth service organizations, schools, parents and students to identify areas on which to focus to be most efficient. Through these various relationships, a number of programs have been established and supported to help in the effort to keep youth violence to a minimum. These programs include, but are not limited to:
Week of Nonviolence
This event seeks to engage all school-age children in Midland County as participants in a week-long campaign that addresses the issue of youth violence in its many forms. The week is filled with activities such as student assemblies and special presentations. Each participating school chooses a team of students that decide what events take place and the means by which they are going build awareness among their peers.
School and Community Preparedness Exercises
The exercise is a school and law enforcement specific training that emphasizes the importance of community preparedness through cooperative training and collaboration in the event of a school site emergency. The sound effects, actors and visual elements the exercise uses allow the students and officials to feel as if they were actually participants in a live emergency situation.
Youth Service Provider Training Seminars
These seminars offer a great deal of information to youth service providers in our community on such issues as gangs, threat assessment and bullying. This program was designed to build awareness among the community and its leaders. Participants get the opportunity to learn about various gangs, how to recognize potential problems, and what to do once a problem is spotted.
The Partnership raises the level of awareness and education among parent groups through means such as Parenting Networks at local companies and Parent Education Networks through the Midland County Education Service Agency, which serves all of Midland County. Our goal is to help parents stay up to date on issues so that they can help their own child and other children under their influence. In turn, the parent will become an even greater asset to the community and a resource for other parents who may have questions.