Madera program helps parents keep kids on the right track

The program has been meeting weekly since January

FRESNO, California - Madera is taking a proactive approach to stopping crime by stopping it at home. The Parent Project helps parents identify red flags with their kids and teaches them how to address them.

The city has seen what gangs can do as recent as this week, when 9-year-old Leonardo Morales lost his life in a gang-related shooting on Sunday.

22-year veteran Madera Police officer Marcy Noriega said there's been an uptick of gang activity. She adds discipline at home can be lacking in the city.

"There's a lot of parents that are afraid to discipline their children in any way," Noriega said.

Enter the Parent Project, the new program is about a month in. Madera Police, Madera County Probation, Madera Unified School District, Community Action Partnership of Madera County, and the Madera Ministerial Association work together to bring the national program to life locally.

The program meets weekly on Wednesday, to help parents know what red flags to look for if their kids are going down the wrong path.

Noriega, who is a program facilitator, said, "We are here to help the parents. We are here also to help the kids because they get involved with gangs, drugs and [such]. We want to try and stop all that."

The focus of the program is for parents to stand strong in their discipline. Fourth Street Church of God pastor Mike Farmer said Madera has needed this kind of program for awhile.

He hopes all Madera parents get involved.

"Anything that is going to be better families is going to better our community," Farmer said. "There's stuff I wish I had been introduced to when my children were younger."

You do need to fill out an application before attending the program, which meets Wednesday from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. You can call the Madera Police Department for an application at 559-675-4200.

You can also fill out an application online at this link.

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