Revere High School (RHS) students will have the opportunity to march and salute their way into the school year this fall with the new Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) program making a big debut at the school.
The JROTC is a leadership and discipline program sponsored by the U.S. Army and very common in most urban schools across the state, but something RHS has lacked for decades.
Principal Lourenco Garcia said it has been a constant request from the student body since he came to Revere two years ago. “It was something missing here in the school,” he said. “The purpose of the program is to teach leadership skills and discipline. The goal here is to keep kids on target here academically – to give them the extra help to get to the next level. Since I came here, a lot of kids have asked me why we don’t have a JROTC. In a school this diverse, kids want a program like this.”
Since opening up the program to students, Garcia said, some 150 students from all four grades have signed up.
The JROTC will meet from 2:25 to 3:40 p.m. each day and will wear their uniforms at school once a week. The Corps will have drills and physical activity regularly, and for that students can get a credit to replace a physical education/wellness class. Additionally, the JROTC will be trained to handle the flags at all City ceremonies such as Memorial Day and Veterans Day. They will also be regulars for marching in any parades in the city.
Garcia said the program has a lot of support so far – from the kids to Mayor Dan Rizzo to Superintendent Paul Dakin.
“It’s not a military program, but it does have military components,” said Garcia. “It can show some of these kids in the program a lot of direction and it keeps kids away from drugs and trouble and other things that could divert them from academic goals…I think it could also help some kids to stay in school and it could serve as drop out prevention for some.”