Transforming Safety Initiative helping southern Colorado non-profits

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SOUTHERN COLORADO — A southern Colorado program aimed at keeping kids out of the criminal system recently got a boost in funding for local non-profit organizations.

The Transforming Safety Initiative focuses on areas with higher crime rates, working to create an economy that can support them.

The Colorado Springs Conservatory uses art and music immersion to get kids engaged in the community at a young age and help steer them away from a life of crime.

“Anything outside of school to keep them active, to keep them engaged. To present them with a number of mentors outside their family and a broader scope of the community just to keep them focused on things that will be more productive to them as they grow,” said Scott Marble with The Colorado Springs Conservatory.

The program involves 12 southern Colorado non-profits, including the Conservatory.

“There’s a social, an emotional piece that plays into the development of these students. Transforming safety just brings those communities to us to help those children explore and discover more about themselves,” said Marble. “We’re currently going to Harrison elementary schools to provide music education in front of their normal school day. In the past, they’ve come here into the building.”

Last year the program took a hit after a million dollar budget cut. With funding returning this year, these non-profits are finally getting the help they need.

“It’s department of correction dollars that have been reallocated from parole violation offenses and put into prevention initiatives. So these non-profits are receiving those dollars,” Marble said.

Through the safety initiative funding, each organization is using the grant to strengthen safety in nearby neighborhoods by growing their own outreach programs.

New this year at the Conservatory are programs focusing on special education students. The non-profit is also launching immersive field trips for students to see their space and get involved in programs.

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