G.R.E.A.T. Quad Project
Submitted by Officer Doug Monte
Banning Police Department
Used with permission
Doug Monte, a detective for the Banning Police Department, is assigned to Youth Services, and for the last three years, he has been working with kids and teaching the Gang Resistance Education And Training (G.R.E.A.T.) Program. The G.R.E.A.T. curriculum teaches students about the dangers of gangs, drugs, and violence. Besides using the student handbook, he is able to provide the students with insights for keeping them involved in school and how to avoid getting involved in negative behaviors that could lead them down the wrong path. He visits each fourth and sixth grade classroom and is currently teaching all 355 sixth graders at Coombs Intermediate School.
Officer Monte had an idea for a G.R.E.A.T. schoolwide improvement project. It started with a vision to renovate an existing area of the school quad, which was, quite honestly, an eyesore for many years. Although it started as Officer Monte’s vision, he is happy to say that many others shared his desire to make the project come to fruition. The students—including those from his G.R.E.A.T. classes—staff members, parents, community members, and more than 25 local businesses contributed their time, talents, and services to see the project through to completion.
The project cost was more than $7,000, but because of the generous donations of concrete, paint, bricks, and skilled labor, the school’s total cost was less than $200. Thanks to Home Depot in Beaumont, Robertson’s Redi-Mix in Corona, Cuba’s Concrete, Primo Concrete Pumping, community volunteers, and several small contractors, we were able to transform the area into a useful and artistic sitting area for the students, teachers, and staff. The new sitting area will provide a place for students and staff to enjoy for years to come.
The quad even includes real horseshoes and customized wooden benches to create a western theme. The students and staff members all pitched in to purchase a bronze
12-by-12-inch plaque to be set in concrete for the dedication ceremony on Friday, January 22, 2010.