SC 5th graders graduate from DJJ-sponsored program

MANNING, S.C. (AP) - Some South Carolina 5th graders have completed a program that state officials hope will help them stay away from gangs.

On Wednesday, 75 students from Manning Elementary School are graduating from G.R.E.A.T., which stands for Gang Resistance Education And Training.

Organizers say G.R.E.A.T. is a national gang, violence and bullying prevention program built around school-based, law enforcement officer-instructed classroom activities. In South Carolina, it's sponsored by the Department of Juvenile Justice and aims to give students life skills that will help them avoid delinquent behavior and violence.

Staffers from DJJ's office in Clarendon County were instructors for the six-week program. Organizers say this is the first year the curriculum has been taught at Manning Elementary.

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