Here’s a testimonial from one of our nonprofit organizations we support on the impact POM is making in Long Beach, CA:
Jessica and her husband started teaching POM to parents in Long Beach and from those classes, grew the idea of “Safe Passages”. Parents in the POM classes self organized themselves, and started positioning themselves along the school routes (and the local park next to the school) in an attempt to stop any gang violence and encourage kids to get to class.
CentroCHA then got funding to expand “Safe Passages” into a pilot program. Results thus far:
– kids are able to get to school safely with less bullying (or getting beat up) by others
– the high school is reporting increased attendance
– less interaction/ harassment from truancy officers
Before “Safe Passages” began, kids were coming home scared to walk to school or were getting jumped. They were also pretending to walk to school and then not going inside and skipping class to smoke pot in the park next to the school.
Those that were skipping have had pretty horrible experiences with truancy officers and local police, being slammed to the ground, slammed against a wall,put in cuffs for a while, or brought to juvenile detention for gang injunctions.
The POM parents have organized themselves for Safe Passages so that this is no longer happening and kids seem to respect the parents doing it since it is out of love or it’s one of their mothers. LBPD is supporting the initiative and interactions with truancy officers have changed tune.
All from a parent idea in a POM class! 🙂