Summer program to stem aggression kicks off locally

Tyrone Campbell leads participation in PLAAY.

Summer program to stem aggression kicks off locally
June 30
06:30 2016


Gentleman’s Quorum Inc. recently launched its PLAAY (Preventing Long-Term Anger & Aggression in Youth) summer program.  Participants in the program are joining forces with Union Baptist Church’s Youth Character Football League (YCFL) for a two-hour session each Sunday at Winston-Salem Prep Academy.

Participants in the program will go through a battery of conditioning drills designed to prepare them for the upcoming football season.

Gentleman’s Quorum Inc. has sponsored programs featuring PLAAY at Elementary Academy and The Kingswood School. The program uses sports and group counseling as the media of research and intervention and highlights the importance of parental support.

The program is modeled after one run by Dr. Howard Stevenson at the University of Pennsylvania, who works with inner city youth in Philadelphia.  In its five years of operation, the PLAAY Project yielded a dramatic decline in aggressive behavior among its “high-risk” participants —all of the boys in the program had committed disciplinary infractions in school, ranging from carrying a penknife to violent assault on a fellow student.

Stevenson has used sports — which offers a setting in which conflicts arise naturally and can be addressed in the moment.

Sam Davis and Elliot Miley initially introduced the program locally during the 2014-15 school year, while working as counselors in an after school enrichment program at Elementary School Academy. The program was successful. A DVD was made of one of the group’s sessions and it eventually made it all the way to the office of President Barack Obama.

Davis said he decided to offer the program through the YCFL this summer and this coming fall after he was named head coach of the program’s 12-and-under foot-ball team.

“I believe it will be a great collaboration,” he said. “I have worked with Rev. Dr. Sir Walter Mack and the YCFL since its inception. This year I decided to take a more active role in the program and try to reach these kids through the concept of PLAAY. This is really important in today’s local climate because of all the violence that is happening. I believe this can head off some of these problems before they begin to spiral out of control.

“Gentleman’s Quorum Inc. understands the importance of having an organization of strong male mentors to provide positive reinforcement by building self-esteem and confidence in our young gentlemen,” Davis added. “These traits will transfer from the Gentleman’s Quorum to the classroom to the real world to the home. Through the efforts of dedicated positive male mentors, family/community support, and the commitment of our young gentlemen, we will help to take them to new heights, academically, socially, economically and help them to succeed. We will accomplish this through teaching and exposure.”

Gentleman’s Quorum Inc., formed in September 2013, was incorporated in April 2014 and achieved its nonprofit status 501(c)(3) status in March 2015.

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