Supt Spring & PV 5th grader talk about success of LEADership Project at press conference
Posted on 06/12/2017
Chief Ray Feurstein and Rebecca Rupnarine speaking at press conference on June 12

Superintendent Larry Spring and Pleasant Valley 5th Grader Rebecca Rupnarine joined U.S. Attorney Richard Hartunian, other school leaders and law enforcement officers from federal, state and local agencies, Monday morning, for a press conference at Troy Middle School announcing the success of the the LEADership Project, which began in Albany in 2011 and today reaches approximately 1,800 5th graders in Albany, Schenectady, Troy and Lansingburgh.

The LEADership Project brings law enforcement officers to elementary schools to form relationships with students, help them make better decisions when faced with difficult choices, educate them about the criminal justice system and provide resources that educate students with positive messages and productive ways to avoid peer pressure.

The superintendent and a fifth grader from each of the four districts spoke about the impact of the program.   Ray Feurstein, Chief of the Schenectady County Auxiliary Police, Jeremy Bergosian, whose class of Pleasant Valley 5th graders participated in the project, and school board president Cathy Lewis were on hand, along with Spring and Rupnarine, to represent Schenectady.

Rupnarine thanked Chief Feurstein.  “We learned a lot about the criminal justice system, thanks to Chief Ray,” she said.  “One thing we learned was that the criminal justice system doesn’t just punish criminals.”  Rupnarine spoke about how the system helps criminals learn from their mistakes and make better decisions moving forward.

Spring said the program teaches students to form relationships with law enforcement officers and helps them understand in a real way.  He said one thing that he has heard from the students is that the program is ‘real.’ Spring said students are engaged and are paying attention.   “Thank you for putting together such a quality program,” he said.  “We are so appreciative.”


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