G.R.E.A.T. Families Works in Brockton, Massachusetts!
Brockton G.R.E.A.T. Families doing a group activity.
Submitted by Officer Nancy Leedberg
Brockton Police Department
Used with permission
The Brockton Police Department has been working hard to bring the G.R.E.A.T. Program full circle in their community. This past year and a half, Officers Leedberg, Rees, Sullivan, and Clifford of the Brockton Police Department have hosted seven G.R.E.A.T. Families trainings, graduating 48 families and 167 participants.
Officer Leedberg had this to say about the G.R.E.A.T. Families Program:
We have truly enjoyed facilitating this worthwhile program, and our experiences with G.R.E.A.T. Families training have created truly wonderful memories. It is always enjoyable to see the families evolve throughout the training. Most participants sign up with some apprehension of what to expect, and then at graduation [time], all of the families ask to either extend the program or request to sign up again.
When participants disagree with parenting issues, it is always done with great respect for each other because of the environment that is created through the relationships that are built in training. As a facilitator of [G.R.E.A.T. Families] trainings (and a parent), I am always impressed with the camaraderie that evolves within the families at G.R.E.A.T. Families training.
When asked, “If you were to tell your friends one thing about G.R.E.A.T. Families, what would it be?” several G.R.E.A.T. Families participating parents had this to say ...
- This is an awesome program, and I would do it again. We’ll miss this!!!
- You MUST attend—very beneficial to your family!!!
- It’s a chance to get to know and learn more about your child and speak to other parents. FUN!
- It’s a very productive and educational program that you can enjoy as a family.
- It’s good to bring families closer and to know that other parents are having the same issues.
- Provides G.R.E.A.T. practical steps/strategies to improve family life.
- Go to G.R.E.A.T. Families. It will bring out the best in your family.
- A great night out to spend with your family and to learn at the same time!
- Go! It’s worth the effort by far.
- It helps you improve your parenting skills!
Officer Leedberg is currently researching a follow-up event for the G.R.E.A.T. Families graduates—a reunion of sorts.
Several parents wrote thank-you notes to their G.R.E.A.T. Families team for all of their efforts. They describe how it has helped their families:
I was fortunate enough to attend a G.R.E.A.T. Families training this year. I really did not know what to expect from the training when I first signed up, but I must say that I came out of the training with a wealth of knowledge.
One of the most important and valuable lessons for me was the effective communication strategies that the training provided. Without the ability to communicate with children, the parenting job is much more difficult. The fact that my son, who is 12, was present and participated with me in all the exercises and projects that Officer Leedberg guided us through also made the training very effective. My son and I both learned together and today apply what we learned as a family.
Another lesson I enjoyed very much was the presentation on Internet safety. No matter how much we talk to our children about it, it is always good to show the children some of the terrible things that can happen if one is not careful.
The training also provided “homework” that the families were required to do. This “homework” provided another opportunity outside of the training for excellent, valuable family time. The community spirit fostered and demonstrated by all the participants was excellent. The class, of course—just like our community—was very diverse, and everyone was treated with respect and differences appreciated. I came away from the training with excellent friends and excellent resources that make me a better parent.
I have to say as one of the participating families that my children and I had a great time going as a family, and we have learned things as far as communication and listening skills. For myself as a single parent, I've learned to watch for signs and how things can go wrong in an instant. I also learned to give my children my attention when needed. We are sad that the program has ended and is not continuing for other families who might benefit from this, but we have to say that it ended on a high note. I was able to meet other families and learn different things. Thank you to all involved. I appreciate every piece of information in my learning process. Bless you all and happy holidays.
Principal Moran of the Brookfield School commended Officer Leedberg and the Brockton Police Department for their work facilitating the G.R.E.A.T. Families program:
Having worked alongside Officer Leedberg from the Brockton Police Department to implement the G.R.E.A.T. Families Program at two elementary schools, I must commend both the G.R.E.A.T. Families Program and the Brockton Police Department for offering this to our families. On a professional level, this collaboration has allowed us to offer to students and their families an incredibly important program that has helped them at home and at school with communication, problem solving, and conflict resolution.
By bringing families together at the school in the evenings, we have demonstrated the importance of family time together while simultaneously illustrating for students the importance of a strong connection among the home, the school, and the community. I too benefitted by having students see me as both a teacher and an administrator when I was allowed to cofacilitate each evening.
Thankfully, the G.R.E.A.T. Program has also led to a stronger sense of collaboration between the schools and the police department. This has not only helped me be more efficient in my position, but it has also opened my eyes to many programs about which I had little knowledge. In turn, I can pass this information to the staff and families.
On a personal level, as a resident of Brockton and the mother of two students in the Brockton Public Schools, I am grateful that I have had the opportunity to work alongside members of the Brockton Police Department, which has reinforced for me the hard work that the department does in working with the community as a whole.
The testimonials from the Brockton community shows that G.R.E.A.T. Families works in Brockton, Massachusetts!