Team PRIDE's purpose is to work with martial arts instructors, juvenile and family court judges, probation officers, children's attorneys, social workers, teachers and other professionals to make special after-school programs available to at-risk children in order to accomplish the following goals:
- Combat juvenile delinquency - Team PRIDE targets children at risk of committing delinquent acts, including children with educational problems and children who have been abused or neglected, and enrolls them in programs that provide mentorship, teach leadership, and promote physical and mental development. By addressing the risk factors for delinquency described above, and by working with juvenile justice professionals to provide an effective alternative to incarceration, Team PRIDE helps combat juvenile delinquency.
- Help eliminate prejudice and discrimination - By focusing particularly on low-income and predominantly minority children, Team PRIDE seeks to improve their educational performance, reduce their arrest rates, and promote probation rather than detention for those children who do end up in the juvenile justice system. The goal is to eliminate the racial disparities that currently exist in academic achievement, delinquency and confinement rates, and to challenge subtle but widespread assumptions about racial minorities' capabilities and propensities.
- Promote educational accomplishment - The Team PRIDE martial arts programs include incentives to reward children for improved academic performance. In addition, these programs teach children the discipline, self-respect and focus necessary to do well in school.
- Reduce substance abuse - Team PRIDE programs provide children with a structured after-school environment so that they are not idle in the afternoons. The programs enable children to cultivate positive peer relationships, and the martial arts instructors serve as mentors and role models. The physical activity and mental discipline that are integral to martial arts training offer children a healthy alternative to drug use.
- Relieve the poor and distressed - Team PRIDE enables low-income children to enjoy the benefits of martial arts training despite their inability to pay tuition at commercial martial arts schools. By promoting educational performance, Team PRIDE seeks to increase high school graduation rates and enable growing numbers of people to find employment and escape poverty. Finally, Team PRIDE offers special vocational training programs that prepare low-income adolescents for careers as martial arts instructors.
- Lessen the burdens of government - By reducing delinquency and helping address some of the risk factors associated with it (such as drug use and educational problems), Team PRIDE lessens the burden on the juvenile and family court systems, as well as the costs of law enforcement and detention. The educational benefits of Team PRIDE's programs help reduce the strain on school resources. And by promoting high school graduation and providing career development for students interested in employment as martial arts instructors, Team PRIDE will reduce the demand for state and federal assistance to low-income people.
More: The Karate for Kids program
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