Peoria is launching a pilot program to stop youth from joining gangs. The state-funded ĎDonít Startí program includes two schools in Peoria District 150 and runs through the summer: The anti-violence project pays for weekly gang-prevention talks, home visits for at-risk students and G-E-D classes for parents. Renee Andrews is principal at gang plagued Trewyn School.
Donít Startí is meant to compliment Peoriaís anti-violence initiative known as ĎDonít Shoot.í That program gives gang members a chance to put down their guns for good through community support programs. State funding for the Donít Start program will go away if parental involvement and student behavior problems do not change.
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