Constantine school liason Officer Holly Cerny conducted an outdoor Boot Camp for 5th grade classes at Riverside Elementary School in Constantine, on Friday (May 10). Cerny enlisted the help of Master Sergeants Billy Clayton and Benjamin Carter, members of the WMU Army ROTC, for the 40-minute class. Also assisting were Officer Derek Guthrie, Bryan Hughey and Adam West. Hughey and West are members of the Explorer Post 478 at the St. Joseph County Sheriff’s office.
Students went through a series of exercises, and told never give up. “We teach perseverance, resilience, integrity, diligence and excellence which is the slogan at Riverside–PRIDE,” Cerny said. “We teach don’t give up on life. You can do it here, and you can do it out in the real world.”
Guidance counselor Steffany Predosa approves of the program. “You learn team work. You learn not to quit. The purpose is to instill self confidence through the training,” she said. “It shows you that you can succeed.”
A parent and grandparent of one of the students came to watch the boot camp. “I took the day off work so I could come watch. I see these same boys play football, so I know they can do it. It teaches them to work together,” Nichole Leeth said.
“It’s a good thing. It shows it how to work as a group,” David Preston said.
Maddy Moen was presented with the WMU Challenge Coin for Determination.
Refreshments were served to students after Boot Camp. Cerny does educational activities on a regular basis at Riverside. The program is funded by the Constantine Police Department.
Source: Story and photos contributed by Angie Birdsall.