Students Overcoming Situations program in Guilford County helping build positive character traits

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Guilford County Schools and Greensboro police are sending out a S-O-S. But in this case, the message isn't a cry for help. Instead, the first year program, Students Overcoming Situations, is all about building positive character traits.

Officer Gerren Meadows leads the first-grade class at Brightwood Elementary. Since he is wearing his police uniform during this visit, he tells the group that it's OK to be a little afraid of him. But at the same time, a police officer is there to help.

"We are interacting with them," Meadows said. "That makes them feel more comfortable talking to us. This uniform can be very intimidating. This allows them to come up and see we are not that intimidating."

Students Overcoming Situations pairs 25 Greensboro police officers with first- and fifth-grade classes at five Guilford County public schools. During the six-week course, students learn about stranger danger, conflict resolution, decision making and the importance of respecting others. By practicing positive traits at an early age, Brightwood Elementary Principal LaTrice Stokes believes students will become positive adults.

"As they move on to middle school, they will be faced with a lot of peer pressure," Stokes said. "The police officers curriculum they are using will help them make positive decisions so they can be productive citizens in our community."

Brightwood, Falkner, Frazier, Pilot and Sedgefield elementary schools are participating in the Students Overcoming Situations program.