RadKIDS combines safety and fun | K-12 Education … – Columbia Missourian

Posted: July 30, 2017 at 2:31 pm

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COLUMBIA One by one,kids sat in the middle of an open room with helmets strapped under their chins and decked out in training pads.

Either Deputy Eli Burkholder or Detective Cody Bounds, wearing full RedMan training suits, would approach them and feign abduction. Each kid would punch and kick their way free from the officer and run to safety on the other side of the room.

The scene sounds bizarre, but its part of routine training for the Boone County Sheriff's Departments radKIDS program. The program, which stands for resisting aggression defensively, took place Saturday at the department building.The program is a personal empowerment and safety education program for children ages 5-12, according to the department website. The Saturday session was for kids ages 9 to 12.

RadKIDS is a national program that was started in 2000. The program that the Sheriffs Department currently uses, which includes more about internet safety for the modern generation, began in the spring of 2015 when Captain Martina Pounds from the Boone County Fire Departmentgot involved.

The program starts with what Pounds described as classroom time, where she and other instructors talk to the kids about general safety and the difference between good and bad people. Pounds said the class doesnt like to use the word stranger.

Just because theyre a stranger doesnt mean theyre bad, but just because you know them doesnt mean theyre good," she said.

Pounds said they stress that potential predators can be people the kids are already familiar with even family.

Unfortunately, most crimes against children are from people they know, she said.

After classroom time, the kids get a hands-on experience to practice the defensive techniques they learned against Burkholder and Bounds, volunteers to be punched, kicked and yelled at.

In the practice situation, Detective Andy Evans, another instructor, gave each kid an everyday scenario they may be in when an adult shows aggression towards them. When either Burkholder or Bounds approached them or grabbed them, the kids demonstrated techniques like a hammer fist or a heel kick to fight back against their fake attacker.

A tactile experience with that kind of a situation is something that Kirk Wing of Columbia wanted his sons, Bruce, 9, and Henry, 7, to have. That desire came from his own experience learning self-defense.

Me and their mother both took the self-defense course offered by (MU) and we found great value in the techniques we learned to deal with attackers and such, Wing said. I wanted them to get the same type of experience, including the simulation, that I did so theyll be better prepared for whatever they come across.

Despite the real problems theyre learning to defend themselves against, the kids have fun with the demonstration part of the class. Pounds said their enjoyment helps then learn.

Kids tend to remember better when its fun, she said. We try to make it fun for them, but on the other hand we try to make them understand, hey, if youre ever in this situation, you need to know how to defend yourself.

Wings sons now have a foundation of knowledge they can rely on if something were ever to happen.

Weve talked to them about these kinds of situations before, but it never went beyond telling them to avoid situations. This (training session) was unique because this taught them that in a time where they wouldnt be able to avoid it, how do you deal with it? he said. Nine out of 10 times theyre not even going to get in this type of situation because theyll know how to avoid it, but this covers the other 10 percent, so I really feel like theyre well-suited to deal with the situation.

Pounds has found that repetition helps to reinforce the ideas and the simple techniques in kids minds. RadKIDS is also a program implemented in elementary schools, usually in third or fourth grade.

We like doing it in the schools because we have the kids over eight weeks, she said. When you have the kids once a week over eight weeks, you really see them developing a confidence and seeing, oh yeah, I can do this.

They can also repeat the weekend class if they want to, as both the classroom time and the demonstration help to reinforce the ideas. Pounds said the kids are receptive to how important the material theyre learning is.

These guys understand that it could save their life, she said.

Supervising editor is Hannah Black.

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RadKIDS combines safety and fun | K-12 Education ... - Columbia Missourian

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July 30th, 2017 at 2:31 pm