(Download Step Up Goshen & Unite Summit Program)

May 23, 2011

Goshen will be the site of a Step Up gang awareness and prevention event this week.

The Third Annual Step Up Goshen & Unite Summit will be held from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 26 at Goshen Elementary School, 6505 Ave. 308 in Visalia.

Supervisor Steve Worthley, who represents Goshen, said the goal of the event is to inspire Tulare County families to live violence- and drug-free lifestyles, pursue educational achievement and connect to their community in a positive manner.

“We know that these events are important because they promote dialogue and awareness in the community, but follow up is equally important,” Supervisor Worthley said. “Having a third Step Up event demonstrates that ongoing gang education and prevention efforts is a priority in Goshen.”

The Step Up Goshen & Unite event seeks to empower parents and youth with techniques provided by motivational speakers, who will host separate workshops with messages targeting youth and adults.

Organizers have arranged for a resource fair staffed by more than 20 community-based organizations, local government agencies and faith-based groups who will provide information to parents and youth. Participants will have opportunities to sign up and volunteer with various organizations in their community. Free food and childcare will be provided.

Visalia Unified School District After School Program Manager Frank Escobar and Cutler-Orosi-based Pastor Angel Menchaca will provide keynote speeches in English and Spanish.

The Step Up Goshen & Unite event is a collaborative effort of the Tulare County Board of Supervisors, Tulare County Sheriff Bill Wittman, Visalia Police Department, Visalia Unified School District, Christ Lutheran Church of Visalia and the Church of God in Goshen.