Department of Corrections Gives Students Tools to Cope
The Prince George's County Department of Corrections will complete its six week mentoring program at Glenridge Elementary School in Landover Hills, MD on Tuesday, December 18. One hundred and sixty one students will sign a pledge committing to be drug free, gang free, and to abstain from bullying. After signing the pledge students will receive treats and enjoy refreshments courtesy of ARAMARK Corporation. Students have participated in weekly sessions of the program titled C.O.P.E.S. (Correctional Officers Protecting and Educating Students) learning to use effective communication skills when approached to sell or use drugs, join gangs, and how to steer clear from bullying.
Principal, Dr. Gloria McCoy says, "The COPES program is a valuable part of our mission to help students become college and career ready. The guidance lessons that are taught by volunteers from the Prince George's County Department of Corrections help to build the capacity of our students to make good decisions and avoid peer pressure. We are very fortunate to have such a committed community partner."
The C.O.P.E.S. program started in 2005 at Glenridge Elementary School. The six week schedule the Officers follow focuses heavily on how drugs, gangs, peer pressure, and bullying can lead to an unsuccessful and unproductive life. The Officers use their work experiences to navigate students away from making potentially life altering mistakes. Fourteen Officers work in pairs to mentor the students and discuss the life changing topics. The six week program will move to another county school in the spring.
Holiday Food Baskets Delivered by County Executive and Public Safety Agencies
Prince George's County Executive Rushern L. Baker III and public safety officials gathered Monday morning, December 17, at the Bunker Hill Fire/EMS Station to help fill and deliver a portion of 3000 holiday food baskets. Public Safety Assistance Program (PSAP) Executive Director Bill Milligan coordinated the event that included the leadership and members of the Fire/EMS Department, Police Department, Department of Corrections, Office of the Sheriff and Homeland Security. Personnel filled holiday food baskets that would be delivered this morning to the Emerson House, a senior citizen high-rise, in Bladensburg as well as a visit with students at the Riverdale Elementary School.
The PSAP is a combined effort by all Prince George's County Public Safety Agencies. About 3000 holiday food baskets will be distributed throughout the County this year to families that otherwise may not be able to afford a holiday meal. The PSAP operates on monetary donations from the public and corporations such as Pepsi Cola, Safeway, Burris Logistics, District Photo, Prince George's County Board of Realtors, Scott Management, Apartment and Office Building Association, Watkins Park Festival of Light, DC Ventures, Inc., and others.
Fire Chief Bashoor was joined this morning by members of his command staff including Deputy Fire Chiefs Scott Hoglander, Ben Barksdale, Neal Dennis and Frank Underwood, volunteer firefighters from Bunker Hill, Bladensburg and Riverdale, career crew from Riverdale Heights #813 and Bunker Hill #855, a host of Assistant Fire Chiefs, Battalion Chiefs and civilian members of the Fire/EMS Department.
Breakfast was prepared this morning by retired member Tommy Smith and a host of assistant chefs including Terry Lloyd, Robin Pilkerton, Teresa Crisman, Kevin Roberts, Jack Mowatt and others.
If you are interested in making a donation to the PSAP you may do so at any time. The Prince George's County Public Assistance Program, Inc. is a 501c3 organization and contributions are tax deductible. Mail monetary donations to FOOD, P.O. Box 548, Upper Marlboro, MD, 20773.