New York City, NY Print E-mail

The School Violence Prevention Demonstration (SVPDP) program is implemented in the largest and most diverse school district in the country. The program encompasses public schools in Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx. For the last 10 years, the New York City program has been administered through the Justice Resource Center of the New York City Department of Education, in partnership with the Center for Civic Education, The SVPDP has been implemented in elementary and middle schools throughout the New York City public school system. In the first year of the program, teachers from U.S. Congressional District 4 were recruited to pilot the curricular materials. Since its inception, the program has tripled in size and expanded to schools in Congressional District 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 14, 15, and 16, affecting approximately 5,859 students. An estimated 116 teachers have continued to use the program materials in their classrooms after their initial year of training.

  September 2008 - June 2009 September 1999 - June 2007 Total*
Schools 11 37 43
Students 850 5009 5,859
Teachers 13 116 129
*Total excludes schools in the current year that have also participated in past years.

Program Highlights and Anecdotes
  • Students in Ridgewood invited the borough president to see their Project Citizen portfolio, which focused on the scaffolding on their roof. After the visit, roof construction was completed in record time, enabling students to use the playground once again.
  • Parental and community leader involvement
    • Examples: local lawyers, educators, and politicians volunteer to judge the showcases
    • Parents assisted with the organization of the showcase and have attended many SVPDP school events
  • Improved student civic knowledge, skills, attitudes towards rights and responsibilities
    • Students pubic policy portfolios have successfully created playground and gym equipment.
    • SVPDP students have placed first in the Project Citizen national showcase since its inception
    • Students have bemore more actively involved with their community through participating in the program

The SVDP has done more to promote civic education in the elementary schools than any other civic education program I administer for the New York City Department of Education.
Debra Lesser, Director, Civic and Law-Related Education, NYC

My students have become active citizens. They tackle public policy issues and are more familiar with the democratic process.
Piedad Heras, Teacher, Forest Elementary School

For further information contact:
Debra Lesser, Site Coordinator,
Maria Gallo, Director, School Violence Prevention Demonstration Program,