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Empowering young minds

By Pfc. Samantha Torres | Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort | January 23, 2015

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Every 40 seconds in the United States, a child becomes missing or is abducted, according to the FBI.
Marine Corps Community Services held a Resisting Aggresion Defensively , or radKIDS program, Jan. 12-16, that teaches children ages 5-12 how to defend themselves and how to get help.
Through radKIDS training, children become empowered and learn to replace fear, confusion, and panic of dangerous situations with confidence, personal safety skills, and self esteem.
“It empowers them to stop somebody who is trying to hurt them,” said Josh Cole, a radKIDS instructor.
The purpose of radKIDS is to provide education that enhances the abillity of children and parents to utilize knowledge, skills, and power to protect themselves from violence and harm.
The radKIDS program is a national MCCS program, and is funded by Headquarters Marine Corps. The curriculum includes a bully prevention program “taught through the eyes of a child.”
The participating children are asked what they would do in a specific situation, and are told to explain how they would react, teaching the adults through the minds of the children.
The children are taught three rules in the class to help them in almost every troublesome situation. The rules are as follows:
1. No one has the right to hurt me, because I am special.
2. I don’t have the right to hurt anyone else, including myself, unless they try to hurt me and then I stop them.
3. If anyone tries to hurt me, trick me, or make me feel bad inside, it’s not my fault, so I can tell.
The class teaches preventing or stopping predator tricks including physical resistance strategies against abduction, internet safety, personal space safety, and home, school, and public safety.
In the program, children are taught three options to choose from when they feel uncomfortable: run to a safe zone, use thier voice to attract attention and get help, and to use their physical skills to get away.
The ultimate goal for the children to learn is to get to safety.
“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” -Frederick Douglass, African American social reformer.
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