WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NY - We don't need no stinkin' gangs.
Although not a direct quote, that's the clear message that Mount Vernon Boys and Girls Club (MVBGC) members and friends are sending lately.
On May 3, Lowes Moore - MVBGC Executive Director and alumnus - initiated a weekly discussion series to help parents and community members identify and suppress kids' involvement in gangs. The format: discussions led by speakers such as Moore, educators and Westchester District Attorney, Jeanine Pirro, and frank exchanges among all participants. Although adults are the target audience for these sessions, young people have been joining in voluntarily. And so far, when the one-hour Tuesday night sessions are scheduled to wrap up at 7:30 p.m., the participants seem to be just warming up. The discussions consistently continue both inside and outside the club and throughout the week.
Are the sessions helpful? It's still early yet, but the immediate impacts are unmistakable. For example, the very day after the first meeting, Moore received requests for help from concerned parents who'd learned to detect warning signs of gang involvement in their childrens' behavior and attire. The young people are showing the effects, too. They have thanked Moore for holding the sessions and apparently look forward to attending them. Moreover, they relentessly apply peer pressure to cronies who wear garments that resemble gang colors. Apparently, members of the club have no use for gang activity.
NOTE: Lisa Tolliver serves on the MVBGC Board of Directors.
DONATE TO MVBGC: http://www.bgcmvny.com/index.php?PID=5&cid=2#Help
And that, dear readers, is precisely the point.
Click here to visit the MVBGC online. It is located at South Sixth Avenue in Mount Vernon, NY.