AURORA, Colo. — One day after six students were shot at Nome Park in Aurora, violence prevention advocates visited multiple schools to connect with students who need help.
A young man was shot and killed in Denver the day before the shooting in Aurora. On Tuesday, Struggle of Love Foundation, GRID, GRASP, and the Youth Violence Prevention programs in Denver and Aurora visited schools closest to where recent shootings happened. They also stopped by Aurora Central High School, where all of the teens who were shot at Nome Park were students.
Most of the visits by violence prevention advocates on Tuesday were in Aurora. Some advocates also stopped by campuses in Denver.
"You are just trying to work through it with them," Jason McBride with the Struggle of Love Foundation said. "We are trying to make it make sense."
Their goal was to provide resources to kids, and find out what faculty members need right now to help keep students out of trouble.
"To let people know we are around and care and we don’t want these kinds of things happening to our kids," he said.
Groups took some of these tough conversations to elementary schools as well.
"They are faced with it," said Jalesa Grace, a secondary violence prevention specialist with Struggle of Love. "Why ignore what is going on? Some kids have parents that are involved in gangs or family that is affiliated, so they grow up seeing these."
These visits are part of an ongoing effort to protect kids from gunfire.
"Let's all make a concerted effort to reach these kids that are involved in this lifestyle and make it better for them," McBride said.
Christina Amparan, the Youth Violence Prevention Program Manager in Aurora, said many schools asked how they can support students who are struggling already, and requested resources related to mental health.
The visits on Tuesday allowed the organizations to build connections with kids. By partnering with community-based groups, Amparan said the cities are able to make a larger impact.
In addition to school visits, Denver's Youth Violence Prevention Program said it's preparing a multi-agency response to support youth and their families during Thanksgiving break, including keeping recreation centers open later. The city is also working with Denver's Department of Public Health and Environment to provide mental health resources.
In the wake of the shooting near Aurora Central High School Monday, the Salvation Army in Aurora is opening its doors as a Safe Place for youth and their families. Youth can come eat, talk, and receive mental health resources from 12 - 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 17.
The Salvation Army Aurora will also have Youth Night every Friday starting Nov. 19. The event will start at 6 p.m.
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