Campers graduate from gang resistance summer camp

AUSTIN (KXAN) — It was a big day Friday for Austin Independent School District students learning about the “great” opportunities available to them around their community.

The students graduated and received medals from the AISD Police Gang Resistance Education and Training, or GREAT, summer camp at Barbara Jordan Elementary School.

The camp is a continuation of the AISD program that runs through the school year. For a week, free of charge, students get to take part in several activities.

“My favorite event is that when we got to exercise outside, and when we got to make arts and crafts and the big posters and everything,” said fourth-grader Casey Maruri.

“They get to see us as people, like them, that have similar interests, like them,” said Sgt. Travis Pickford with the Austin ISD police department. “I really think it helps bridge the gap between law enforcement and the public, and you know, at a young age like that, we need to build that trust with them. “

The program specifically targets children before they are introduced to gangs in order to make a difference. Some of those making a difference included members of our KXAN crew. KXAN Reporter and Weekend Morning Anchor Erin Cargile and photojournalist Juan Rodriquez stopped by earlier this week to show these students how the news media can serve our community.

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