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Archived News Release from 2005

For Immediate Release

Redwood City Students Win Tickets to Giants Game with G.R.E.A.T. Essays

Redwood City, CA - April 28, 2005 - For the past four years, kids from the Redwood City Police Department’s Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T.) program have participated in an essay contest sponsored by the San Francisco Giants and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF&E). The contest is one way of helping kids learn that there are positive alternatives to gang activity.

This year, 53 6th graders from Redwood City’s Kennedy Middle School submitted essays, and the City is very proud to announce that nine of these students were selected as winners. And, 6th grader Naomi Lieb of Kennedy Middle School was selected as the overall grand prize winner! She will be honored by the San Francisco Giants at home plate on May 6th during a pre-game ceremony with all the other proud winners.

Over 1,200 6th and 7th graders from more than 15 schools in Redwood City, Foster City, Newark, Oakland, Richmond, Sacramento, San Francisco, and unincorporated areas of San Mateo County participated in the contest. The City congratulates all of the students that participated, and especially the winners!

The kids wrote short essays on one of the following subjects: “One Small Step for Mankind;” “Education All the Way;” and “There's More to Life Than Gangs.” The purpose of these topics was to get kids to think about personal achievement, the value of education, and taking responsibility for their actions. It’s been a valuable lesson for all that participated, and the nine winners from Redwood City get free tickets to a baseball game courtesy of the San Francisco Giants, and even a train ride to the game, courtesy of Caltrain.

Here are some meaningful quotes from the Redwood City students’ winning essays:

  • Roy Melgar: “Y’all would skip school to play with guns, come on that ain’t fun, y’all might die, O come to me and cry.
  • Joe Basler: “My mom says, How can we find peace in our world, if we can’t find it in our children’s heart.”
  • Olivia Richards: “If you think school is too hard, don’t drop out, ask for help.”
  • Ian Latham: “Education is the best anti-gang defense.”

G.R.E.A.T. is a life skills competency program designed to provide students with the skills they need to avoid gang pressure and youth violence. G.R.E.A.T.’s violence prevention curriculum helps students develop beliefs and practice behaviors that will help them avoid destructive behaviors. The national G.R.E.A.T. website is located at

Visit Redwood City 's award-winning website at for information about the City and its services, the community, recreation programs, education, City government, and local business.


Officer Todd Hurst
Redwood City Police

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