Island students receive certificate from GREAT Program
Thursday, June 26th, 2014
21 students from New Horizon Seventh Day Adventist School (SDA) and nine students from Holy Cross Anglican School (HCAS) have received certificates marking the completion of the Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT) Program. The program was instructed by Police Constable (PC) Juan Chuc and is part of a country wide police initiative to educate children on the consequences of gang violence.
The GREAT program began in Belize in 2010 when police officers travelled to San Salvador, El Salvador for a two-week training on how to integrate the program into the school curriculum. The program is divided into training for both children and adults, and the 13-lesson course provides knowledge on gang resistance and healthier ways for children to express their frustration. PC Chuc stated that one of the main reasons children join gangs is to release frustration that is sometimes fostered at home. “The GREAT program gives the students a variety of choices they can make in life to better themselves instead of falling into criminal activity,” said PC Chuc.
PC Chuc along with Officer in Charge (OIC) Luis Castellanos and Town Foreman Freddy Gonzalez gave out certificates of completion to the students of HCAS on Friday, June 20th. The students that completed the program were Hwonnie Melendez, Arzenia Ack, Kyla Chacon, Gisel Flowers, Reina Larin, Terisa Saki, Walter Espat, James Sutherland and Jordi Castillo. At the end of the distribution, OIC Castellanos addressed the students. “We expect that with the GREAT program, the students have guidance in life and are able to make the right choices and be successful and can productive citizens,” said OC Castellanos.
Certificates of completion for the students of New Horizon were given in at a short ceremony held at the SDA Church on Monday, June 23rd. Receiving their certificates in the presence of parents and teachers were Analuisa Sanches, Mercy Reyes, Richard Casildo, Zane Hyde, Romny Cartajena, Johnathan Velladarez, Johnathan Coc, Alonzo Ogaldez, Leon Ortiz, Ashley Castillo, Wayne Montez, Megan Almora, Monceratt Fuentez, Guadalupe Pinelo, Betsy Choc, Karina Moriera, Janelly Valladarez, Crystel Guerra, Severiano Cawich, Maurie Carabantes and Dorian Martinez.
PC Chuc, with the support of the San Pedro Police Department will continue the GREAT program when schools reopen after summer vacations. “We see that the children are very happy with the program. They like to see that the police put an interest in the community. We will be continuing the program in the remaining island schools. We hope that the GREAT program helps foster a better generation,” said PC Chuc.
Congratulations to all the children that completed the program, may your choices always be GREAT!
For more information on the GREAT program contact PC Chuc at 607-9033.