Students graduate from GREAT at School in Cayo Print E-mail
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Thursday, 23 May 2013 00:00

Principal and students of the Santa Elena Primary Roman Catholic School and Senior Superintendent of Police Louise Willis, at centre, delivering a batch of certificates to a representative teacherCeremonies were held Wednesday evening at the Santa Elena Primary Roman Catholic School in the Cayo District for students who participated in a Gang Resistance Education and Training Program (GREAT). Both standard three and standard six primary school students from the Cayo School are the most recent beneficiaries from GREAT.

Handing the certificates to students was the Senior Superintendent of Police Louise Willis, who is also the Officer Commanding of the Community Policing Program within the Belize Police Department.

“We have gotten great reviews of GREAT. Parents told us after each lesson at the school that students would go home to teach their younger siblings about the lessons learnt,” said  Willis.

Some two hundred and seventeen students from the Santa Elena Primary School participated in GREAT. They were taught how to protect themselves from engaging in gang activities that could cause harm to themselves and their communities. Students also learnt how to become better citizens and to get an education, other than being gang members. Principal tutor under the GREAT Program, Police Officer Ciriaco Medina, taught the ninety-five students from the middle and one hundred and twenty two from the Upper Primary, with the former grouping getting their initial lessons from September of last year.

To date, some forty-four schools from across the country have participated in GREAT where over four thousand one hundred students have graduated. The GREAT program is a joint effort of the United States Embassy via the Regional Gang Initiative, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and the Police Department.