'Do The Right Thing' Youth Program Debuts In Albany | WAMC

'Do The Right Thing' Youth Program Debuts In Albany

Oct 5, 2020

Albany city school officials and police are rolling out a program to promote good behavior among young people.

The Albany Police Department and the Albany schools superintendent Kaweeda Adams introduced a program called “Do The Right Thing" this morning.

"Do the right thing - a national, non-profit organization, dedicated to recognizing and rewarding school-age youth for their accomplishments, positive behavior, and good deeds."

Adams says the new program will recognize and award students’ positive accomplishments, like doing well in school, setting an example by exhibiting good behavior or, for their good deeds in the community.

Albany Police Officer Chris English, who is assigned to Albany High School as the school resource officer, implemented the program locally.

"Working in the schools, myself and my co-workers we always saw students doing really great things day in and day out. And we wanted to find a way to recognize that and you know show that we appreciate it. So the way it's gonna work is there's a website that anyone can access in the community, it's live right now through the city's webpage."

Albany Police Chief Eric Hawkins says 'Do The Right Thing' is a great way for the department to engage more with youth and the community.
Credit WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Albany Police Chief Eric Hawkins says the program is a great way for the department to engage more with youth and the community.

"This is a critical piece of our crime prevention and outreach strategy. You know in order for us to address crime and quality of life, we first have to have relationships with the youth in our community. And this is an excellent opportunity to do so, and in a positive way."

English says each month approximately 10 students from each middle school and 20 from the high school can be nominated by parents, school staff, police officers or community members.

"You just put the student's name and information and three or four sentences about the good deed or good behavior that they are doing and they get nominated. We're trying to nominate as many as possible. As of right now we're gonna take about 10 nominations, recognize them by giving them a t-shirt, we're partnering with some local pizzerias to get them free slices and free sodas, and then one student from each of those 10 for each school, so six students in total, are gonna receive a Samsung tablet."

Each student nominated will receive a t-shirt, a small prize, such as a certificate for a free pizza, and a certificate of acknowledgement.
Credit WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

English says there are several opportunities for students to qualify.

"We're looking for a wide behavior of any sort of good deed or good behavior, whether it's commitment to a sport, athletic achievement, academic achievement, turnaround behavior. Maybe they were struggling with something and they're now doing much better. They're helping out at home, with their families, taking care of their younger siblings. Anything and all that someone may view as a good behavior or doing the right thing, they can be nominated for that."

The program is funded by a Community Block Development Grant.