600 North Bergen 6th graders had graduation ceremonies this month for completing their Law Enforcement Against Drugs and Violence (L.E.A.D.) program.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
The children were instructed by Joe Sitty, a communication education coordinator in North Bergen, who was previously with the North Bergen Police Department and has been teaching the L.E.A.D program since 2013.
Over the past few months, Sitty helped this group of sixth graders understand why steering clear of drugs and violence is vital, in addition to teaching them lessons on how to set attainable goals, manage their emotions and make wise decisions.
“A huge congratulations is due to the sixth graders who worked hard to successfully complete the L.E.A.D. program taught in North Bergen. We’re glad that they were rewarded with well-deserved graduation ceremonies and that they get to enjoy a fun field day,” L.E.A.D. CEO Nick DeMauro said in a statement.
“We love having Joe as part of our family, and we commend him on allowing the sixth grade students to gain skills that will last them a lifetime. We’re confident that he continues to help us achieve our goal of creating more cohesive communities as well.”
L.E.A.D. provides services “On the Street” and “In the Classroom” as it brings law enforcement and communities closer together.
The “In the Classroom” program is taught by 3,800 trained instructors in 41 states, according to their website.
L.E.A.D. has a proven effective, law enforcement-focused anti–drug, anti–violence curriculum for K-12 students in the U.S.
The L.E.A.D. curriculum is taught over the course of a 10-week program to educate youth on how they can make smart decisions without the involvement of drugs or violence.
“The mayor, chief of police and superintendent of schools for North Bergen all stand behind L.E.A.D. wholeheartedly,” added Sitty.
“Their support has been incredible in taking the L.E.A.D. program in our town to the next level, ensuring that every student who goes through the sixth grade has the opportunity to become a more well-rounded, informed individual by taking the course.”
He continued that every year since he’s been involved in the organization, the students have looked forward to celebrating what they achieved during the program with a graduation ceremony.
“The children love L.E.A.D. and they’re always proud of themselves when they graduate from the program. They know that I enjoy working with them in the classroom, and I truly want the best for them.”