Police Collaborate with Community Partners to Support Arlington Youth
Published on May 09, 2023
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Arlington County Police Department (ACPD), AHC Inc. (AHC) and the Life Enrichment Center (LEC) have partnered to provide literacy tutoring to elementary-aged students at AHC’s Gates of Ballston after-school program. The tutoring program is part of a three-tiered approach between ACPD’s Community Engagement Division and AHC to support positive youth development through education and relationship building and enhances the longstanding collaboration between ACPD and AHC.
“Since the formation of the Community Engagement Division in June 2021, officers assigned to the Youth Outreach Unit (YOU) have worked proactively to establish partnerships with community organizations to support and engage Arlington youth through community-based activities and programs,” said Deputy Chief Wayne Vincent. “Community partnerships, such as ours with AHC and the Life Enrichment Center, allow us to embrace this unique opportunity to make a difference in the lives of young people in Arlington.”
"Our partnership with ACPD proactively works towards AHC's mission of using education and social services to help residents build more stable and successful lives," says Paul Bernard, President & CEO of AHC Inc. "We are grateful for the partnership with ACPD and the Life Enrichment Center to bring impactful educational programming to the youth at our AHC communities."
Life Enrichment Center (LEC) Literacy Tutoring
In early 2023, ACPD and AHC began partnering with the Life Enrichment Center, a non-profit organization providing literacy tutoring and other life-giving initiatives for elementary students from Title I Schools across Virginia. Beginning in February, volunteering ACPD officers and professional staff members were paired with nine 1st and 2nd grade students at AHC’s Gates of Ballston after-school program. The ACPD and AHC student pairings meet weekly and work towards reading at or above the student’s grade level while creating lasting relationships. “Students who are able to read proficiently by the third grade are four times more likely to graduate high school. Our partnership with ACPD and AHC will ensure that children have the tools needed to excel academically and in life,” says Kevin Turpin, President and Founder of the LEC.
Know Your Rights
Know Your Rights is a curriculum designed to educate 6th-12th grade Arlington students about Virginia laws and help them develop skills needed to make sound decisions, to avoid breaking laws and to become active members within their community. Participants in Know Your Rights engage in guided conversations presented by ACPD officers on a range of topics including drugs, opioids, alcohol, dating violence and criminal and civil law basics. Topics are presented at various AHC properties throughout the year and are open to youth and their guardians.
ACPD officers provide presentations and hands-on radKIDS® instruction to help youth replace fear with knowledge, skill, and power, by enhancing a child’s critical thinking abilities and physical resistance skills. Recently, ACPD has partnered with AHC to begin offering radKIDS® curriculum at the Harvey Hall property after-school program to expand instruction to include kindergarten through 5th grade students.
About the ACPD’s Community Engagement Division: As part of our key initiative of community engagement, ACPD is committed to maintaining strong partnerships, like those with AHC and LEC, to further trusting relationships within the Arlington community. The YOU will continue to engage with Arlington youth throughout the summer months by hosting two sessions of Summer Safety Patrol Camp and an expanded Teen Police Academy. To learn more about our youth outreach programs and apply to the Teen Police Academy, visit our website.