MEXICO — Live rock bands don’t usually perform in elementary schools, but one local group did on Friday afternoon to the delight of more than 300 students and staff.

Friday afternoon was Meroby Elementary School’s Marble Jar Celebration day, in which a month of positive behavior earned children in prekindergarten to fifth grade a visit from local rockers Fair Enough.

“Is this awesome or what?” one teacher said, listening to the band perform Credence Clearwater Revival’s “Proud Mary.”

Youngsters danced in the gym with each other and teachers as the older children formed conga lines and wound their way through the crowd and other conga lines.

Prior to revealing the band, which donated its time to the cause, Janet Hall from NewPage Corp. handed out bright orange earplugs donated by the Rumford paper mill and students were taught how to use them.

Then came the surprise when the band appeared on stage. Fair Enough consists of lead guitarists Mark Steele and Randy Derouche, bass player Mike Arsenault, drummer Tony Umbro and vocalist Michelle Derouche, Randy’s sister.

Steele, Arsenault and Umbro are NewPage employees. Additionally, Steele’s wife Heidi Steele, teaches second grade at Meroby.

Kindergarten teacher Sonya Arsenault and Kim Fuller, the school’s interventionist, said Friday that Meroby is a Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports school.

That is a program they’ve had for three years in which students earn marbles for following the school’s code: Be Kind. Be Safe. Be Respectful. Be Responsible.

Earned marbles from each class are then added to a large jar, and when it’s full, the students earn a reward, Sonya Arsenault said.

The celebration happens about every month at the end of the school day for about an hour. But Friday was the first time that a live rock band performance was the reward.

“We’re instilling in the children to follow the code, and what it means to be a good citizen here at Meroby Elementary,” Fuller said.

“Once the jar is full, then we have a celebration, and this is definitely the big celebration of the year.”

“The kids enjoyed it,” as did the band, Sonya Arsenault said.

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