Cries from the West Side community to reduce gang violence among youth rang in the ears of many. In 2009, Buffalo State College answered by establishing the West Side Youth Violence Prevention Coalition.
Project coordinator Jonathan Lindner focuses on directly involving the community through the coalition’s work.
“A behavior survey has gone out, which focuses on parent behavior,” Lindner said. “They are the most crucial and critical influence in a child’s life.”
The coalition was recently awarded a federal grant of $30,000, which will be used to place billboards throughout the 14213 zip code. The billboards will display positive messages aimed to help adults positively influence children.
“Our role is to expand parenting to anyone who influences a child and our environmental practices are expected to be very successful,” Lindner said.
The billboards were released Nov. 17. By Samantha Murphy and Desiree Wiley