There is good news coming out of the Police Department. The Department just wrapped up another series of its GREAT Program, an initiative aimed at encouraging gang resistance education and conflict resolution in primary schools. This is a new project by the Police Department and the first of its kind. In a GREAT graduation ceremony held in March at the St. Martin’s Government School, Inspector of Police Dehanne Augustine, briefed us on what the program is about.
Dehanna Augustine – Inspector of Police:
It’s intended to empower the students from Standard Four to Standard Six, those that are already a victim of this, and those who we believe will soon be a part of it without proper tools. And then you have the Great Summer. During the Summer time students are out of school, but then we have to make sure that at the end of the day we have something constructive to do with them during the Summer time. So the Great Summer has the component of Conflict Resolution, in Survival Training, Hiking, [and] Sporting Events.
We also have the family component of GREAT. The family component of GREAT has to do with having families, instead of only the students. The Middle and the Elementary Come-back students, where 20 students leave from here, we have to look at something to assist the families too.
Yesterday, 59 students at Eden SDA Primary School graduated from the program. The Guest speaker of yesterday’s event was Officer Commanding San Ignacio Police Station, Supt. Ralph Moody, who, in his address, urged the students to be role models in the school, share what they have learned and use it in their daily lives. Both the Principal and Vice Principal of the school concurred that the program has been of great benefit as there is a major reduction in negative activities during the school year. This cycle of the GREAT program lasted 13 weeks.