Publisher: Justice Dept., Office of Community Oriented Policing Services
Description: Using the themes of the classic Broadway and movie musical West Side Story, the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (the COPS Office) is publishing the West Side Story Project Toolkit (WSSP) to address youth violence and youth–police relations. This resource provides an opportunity for law enforcement to partner with local theater, schools, youth-based organizations, and community groups to develop new approaches to gang prevention, youth–police relations, and cultural conflict.
The WSSP offers the chance for middle and high school students to participate in activities with law enforcement groups to discuss their perceptions of each other and cultural differences among their peers. Simultaneously, it introduces youth, particularly those considered at-risk, to a world far away from their everyday lives–the experience of live musical theatre and the opportunity to create their own art and drama based on themes from West Side Story. The WSSP also creates an opportunity for a public forum to focus on issues that affect many communities, such as: juvenile justice reform, new immigrants and their relationships with police, and local efforts to address youth and gang violence.
The WSSP consists of a set of 5 booklets, a CD, and a DVD that provides directions, suggestions, and examples to demonstrate how police, theater, youth organizations, and others can work together to use creative strategies to reduce conflict, solve problems, and build relationships.
Year/Pages: 2010: Kit.
Learn more about the West Side Story Project.
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