GROTON, Conn. – Northeast Elementary Academy and Claude Chester Elementary School students who demonstrated exceptional conduct throughout the year were awarded for their good behavior in ceremonies held by the schools in coordination with the Groton Police Department and U.S. Navy, May 22 and 24.
In a school assembly at Northeast, the recipients received a certificate, a t-shirt and handshake or high-five from Chief Engineman Bradley Bruns, assigned to Naval Submarine Base (SUBASE) New London’s Port Operations department, and Investigator Derek Robertson with the Groton Police.
"Groton ROCKS is all about celebrating our children’s kindness and safety," said Jennifer Belmonte, Northeast Elementary school psychologist. "We always ask kids to do their personal best every day, but some kids go above and beyond, and this is an opportunity to thank them and to encourage them to keep going."
Community leaders such as police or military are present to build connections and represent public service to the children receiving the awards.
"Groton Rocks was started by a partner of mine, Investigator Banwell a few years back," said Robertson. "It was something to recognize kids who went above and beyond what the rest of the kids, doing the right thing for the right reason, when nobody is looking. The Navy has been a big help with the pride they bring as well, especially for the Navy kids. We hope to make a good impression of the police and the families think it’s a big deal. They get a cool t-shirt, they get a slice of cake. It’s always nice to be recognized."
The children are chosen for Groton ROCKS by their teachers’ recommendation to the school principal. Groton ROCKS is an annual event honoring kids who demonstrate outstanding kindness, helpfulness and safety as exemplary students.