LANGLEY – D.W. Poppy Secondary School has received funding from the province’s civil forfeiture program towards its Social Thinking for At-Risk Students (S.T.A.R.S.) project.

The S.T.A.R.S. project is receiving $9,800 that will allow up to 70 at-risk students to participate in a program designed to help them develop stronger social, communication, and coping skills. The program activities will include facilitated group discussions, role plays, guest speakers/presentations and participation in a mentorship program with elementary school students.

“We are excited about being granted the opportunity to bring the S.T.A.R.S. program to D.W. Poppy and our community schools,” said Dean Pacheo, Vice-Principal of D.W. Poppy Secondary School. “Funding will be going towards training staff members in Social Thinking who will then implement the program for the upcoming school year with a group of at-risk students. Our goal is to develop the social skills necessary to have a positive impact on their relationships with peers, adults, and the community as a whole.”

“Putting an end to violence in B.C. is a long-term goal, and youth outreach is absolutely essential to achieving it,” said Fort Langley-Aldergrove MLA Rich Coleman. “Learning how to build healthy relationships starts at a young age. Programs like this help at-risk students by giving them a strong foundation for future change.”

This year, the priority focus for civil forfeiture grants is on initiatives that address violence against women, and support the Violence Free BC strategy.  Other areas where funding was made available included serving victims through restorative justice, community and youth crime prevention, and police education, training and specialized crime prevention equipment.

Since the civil forfeiture program became active, it has returned more than $16 million from successful forfeiture actions to crime prevention grants and victim compensation payments in B.C.

Violence Free BC is the provincial government’s long-term strategy and commitment to end violence against women. Acting as a roadmap, Violence Free BC combines immediate actions with a long-term vision to end the violence, and to support women whose lives and well-being have been impacted by violence.  In future years, a portion of civil forfeiture funds will be dedicated to support the Violence Free BC strategy.