With summer fast approaching for teachers and students, everyone is thinking about one thing: what will I do this summer? Among the many recreational activities in which you can get involved, you may be interested in learning that some may actually help to make your community safer. Here’s a look at a few summertime projects that may prevent crime, and might even inspire you to find or start your own.
During the summer of 2014, an art project called Art Alley was launched in Red Deer to combat crime using the principles of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED). A group of local artists transformed an alley known for crime activity by adding murals to its walls. The program appears to have been a success, as some business owners report reduced crime activity in the area, and the program has been funded again for 2015. Here’s a short video showing the artists at work.
For more information and links, including Art Alley’s Facebook page and details about CPTED, read the Alberta Community Crime Prevention Association’s blog post.
Many non-profit organizations offer summer camps that not only provide children and youth with positive experiences, but may also reduce the risk of youth becoming involved in crime. For example, Public Safety Canada lists Boys and Girls Club of Canada as a promising program, and adds that in one survey, “74% of respondents felt that the Clubs helped them to be able to avoid coming into conflict with the law”. Interested in seeing what a Boys and Girls Club near you is offering this summer? Hit this link to find your closest club.
Summer is the perfect time for sports, and there’s plenty of evidence that organized sports programs for youth also reduce youth crime. For a list of sports programs, start with this page on the Sport Alberta site, or find a KidSport chapter in an Alberta community near you.
Yes, we know, when it comes to summer reading, we’re all looking for something light, like a trashy novel or a good magazine. But summer’s also a perfect time to bone up on topics you haven’t had time for during the school year. Our educational materials are mostly short articles, suggestions for classroom activities, and other quick reads. Best of all, most are in PDF format, so you can take them with you on any device, or print them for reading at the beach!
From all of us at the John Howard Society of Alberta, we wish everyone, especially teachers and students, a happy and safe summer!