At-risk kids pass program, get turkey dinners

SANTA ANA, Calif. The students, ranging from grades 4 to 8, successfully met the requirements of a /*Gang Reduction Intervention Partnership*/ (GRIP) program to keep the students in school and out of risky behavior.

Four-hundred-fifty students at 25 different GRIP elementary and middle schools were offered a chance to win Thanksgiving dinners by passing a "gang-prevention challenge," according to the program.

Criteria needed to succeed in the challenge included tasks like improving grades, making perfect attendance, staying out of disciplinary-action situations, and staying away from gang clothing or activity. Each school participating in the program identified its own at-risk youth and made final assessments of each student's success in the program.

The turkey dinners each feed about eight to 10 people. The dinners were donated by Albertsons customers and Saddleback Church.

Orange County police and officials will hand-deliver the dinners Wednesday to each of the students who successfully passed the program.

According to the OCDA, GRIP currently operates in seven cities and is run by the OCDA, Orange County Probation Department, Anaheim Police Department, Buena Park Police Department, Orange Police Department, and the Orange County Sheriff's Department (OCSD) in the Cities San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Stanton, and the north unincorporated areas.

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