The Bethlehem Elementary School karate program, sponsored by the Bethlehem Park and Recreation Department, held its first-ever grading on Monday, March 2 at the school. The grading was officiated by Grand Master Robert Cheezic and Master Doug Wilke. The students demonstrated skills in sparring, kicks, forms, rolls and break falls. Assisting at the event were Bishop Aldrich of Bethlehem who demonstrated a nun chaku form, Jeff Taylor from USA Martial Arts who demonstrated a sword form and Amy Aldrich of Bethlehem who performed a board break using a palm strike and a stomp to break a total of 18 boards.
The students all advanced to the rank of apprentice orange belt. Students included (front, from left) Amelia Oulette and Liam Hurley of Bethlehem, Bennett Dayton and Joshua Ripperger of Woodbury, Emily Pamplona-Alomiron of Bethlehem and Sophie Mehegan of Woodbury; and (back) David Torres, Fin Hurley, Kyra Jones and Lyla Johnson, all from Bethlehem, and Maddie DeGruttola and Owen DeGruttola from Woodbury. Not pictured is Kaya Jones.