The Success Cycle: Steps for Success

Planning makes perfect? Well, it certainly helps! This Bulletin is designed as a workbook to help you plan, select, design, and implement a successful crime prevention project for your community by using the five steps of the Success Cycle. You can conduct a project without completing every step; however, going through all the steps can only improve the outcome of your project. Many youth leaders have found that good planning makes it easier to follow through on a project and get good results from specific activities.

You may find it helpful to first skim through this Bulletin to get the "big picture" and then go through it again with pencil in hand. You may also want to photocopy pages and make notes to help solidify your plans. Always feel free to go back and add new ideas to your notes. Good luck!

A Starter List of Ideas

Remember that while your own attitudes and actions can help prevent crime and improve your community, youth working together in a group can produce even more powerful results. Your work is especially productive if you take a major role in planning activities and participating in them. This Bulletin will help you plan your activities.

Here are some examples of projects that young people around the country have planned and implemented to prevent crime and make their communities safer and healthier.

bullet Iowa (several areas). High school students produced radio public service announcements to send antidrug use messages to their peers.
bullet Dade County (Miami), FL. Students, supported by school officials, teachers, and crime watch leaders, formed a school crime watch program to report crime and suspicious behavior on school grounds. Results have been dramatic. In the first 2 years of the program, school crime was reduced by 50 percent.
bullet Evansville, IN. Teens Against Drug Abuse (TADA) performed puppet shows urging younger children to stay drug free.
bullet Cleveland, OH; Knoxville, TN; San Francisco, CA; and other cities. Youth trained in mediation are helping other students settle disagreements peacefully.

Possible Program Activities

What can you do to improve conditions in your school or neighborhood? Here are more ideas:

bullet Victim/witness assistance. Help young victims of crime through peer counseling, accompanying them to court, or helping them replace stolen items or repair damages.
bullet Plays, videos, raps, puppet shows, and other entertainment. Design and perform skits and shows for peers, younger children, and neighbors dealing with issues ranging from drug use prevention to latchkey children.
bullet Escorts or check-ins for senior citizens. Accompany older people to the bank or on other errands. Call seniors at an arranged time each day to make sure everything is all right.
bullet Teaching. Teach peers about the effects of crime and about crime prevention. Teach younger children personal protection, drug prevention, and other important safety skills.
bullet Home security surveys. With the police department's training and approval, provide information to your community on making homes safer. Help disabled residents make needed improvements in their homes.
bullet Neighborhood Watch. Join one of America's most popular local crime prevention programs. Keep an eye out for suspicious activities or persons and report them to law enforcement. Be an active part of your Neighborhood Watch, or organize one.
bullet Shoplifting education. Team up with local businesses to start public information campaigns on the costs and consequences of shoplifting.
bullet Summer recreation. Plan and staff recreation programs for young children; help repair or build playgrounds; help provide outings for disadvantaged or institutionalized children.
bullet Community cleanups. Work with others to clean up trashy, rundown, or overgrown public areas -- or private property, with the owner's permission. Spruce up schools, neighborhood parks, or the yards of those unable to do the work. Clean up or paint over graffiti.
bullet Phone support. Operate an afterschool call-in service to offer friendship and guidance to young students, especially those who spend the afternoon at home alone.
bullet Drug use prevention. Provide information to peers, younger children, and adults on the dangers and effects of alcohol and drug consumption. Obtain training to be a peer counselor and help other young people with problems that can lead to drug use. Organize youth events that show that a drug-free lifestyle is "cool."
bullet Forums and discussions. Hold assemblies that help your peers think about issues that affect their lives, such as drunk driving, pregnancy, higher education, and job availability. Allow for participation from the audience.
bullet Counseling. Organize counseling services to provide informal group counseling, individual counseling, or hotline help for your peers and others. Hotlines can address personal problems, substance abuse, and many other issues. You may need to obtain some training. A good place to start is with your school's guidance counselor or a local nonprofit organization.
bullet Vandalism prevention. Emphasize school pride. Use films, posters, brochures, and other communication devices to educate your peers on the costs of vandalism. Challenge everyone to make the school look as good as possible.
bullet Teen courts. Be a teen judge, lawyer, juror, or court officer. Hear and try cases involving fellow students. Teen courts are not mock courts -- they hear real cases, make real judgments, and impose real sentences.
bullet Fairs and displays. Design educational displays for malls, schools, hospitals, businesses, and community centers. Help generate action and recruit new volunteers to help combat crime.
bullet Contests. Organize writing, music, or art contests for your school or community to have fun, educate, and build interest in crime prevention and safety issues.
bullet Mentoring peers or younger people. Establish a supportive friendship with someone in need of a positive role model. Just being friendly and showing a good example can often help someone in need.
bullet Conflict resolution and mediation. Learn ways to settle arguments and disputes productively rather than by fighting or running away. Obtain training to become a mediator, someone who helps others settle their disputes peacefully.

What kind of activities appeal to you? Jot down some old favorites or some new ideas! Nearly all of the activities listed above require some degree of adult involvement or support, but the bulk of the work and the sense of ownership of the project remain firmly with the youth performing the activities.


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Youth In Action Bulletin April 1998   black   Number 01