Last week, a select group of DAFFODIL students made history when they became the largest Pre-K class to graduate from radKIDS training. This feat drew so much attention that the CEO of radKIDS, Mr. Steve Daley, traveled from Massachusetts to witness the graduation himself.
radKIDS is an aggression-resistance training program which teaches students how to defend themselves and escape to a safe zone when confronted with dangerous situations. As a result of the training, students learned that no one has a right to hurt them and that they have no right to hurt anyone or themselves unless someone is trying to hurt them. The most important point students learned is that it is ok to tell a trusted adult because the situation is not their fault. The comprehensive training lasted for 9 days and covered defense skills such as arm blocks, radKIDS stance, high hammer fist, low hammer fist, and defensive kicks. Students were taught how to call 911 in case of an emergency with live dispatchers from the Waycross Police Department, school safety, home safety, defense from bullying, gun safety, and how to create a fire safety plan for home.
Mrs. Paige Coker welcomed everyone to the graduation ceremony, and Mrs. Tammy Hickson delivered the prayer. Mrs. Kim Frazier- Jones led the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by the national anthem, sung by Mr. Lorenzo Muchison. Dr. Jackie Turner spoke to the parents and class about the importance of safety for our students in the Ware County School District. Each graduate paraded across the stage and received a radKIDS bracelet from Trainer Zina Ponsell, a sticker from Trainer Detective Taylor Luciano, a medal from Superintendent Jim L. LeBrun, and a certificate from Waycross Police Chief Tony Tanner. Chief Tanner and Superintendent LeBrun also gave remarks of appreciation to the students and parents.
The Waycross Police Department and Ware County Board of Education became partners in pushing the program along for the safety of our children in Ware County. Both partners intend to expand the program to encompass additional grade levels so that knowledge and defense skills will continue to be taught to children, making the Waycross-Ware County community a safer place to live.
Mr. Daley closed the program with some final remarks about the significance of the training students received. Students took part in the closing as he made his way down to the floor review the chant, “Stay back, you are not my dad!” with them. Congratulations to the graduates, and many thanks to all the agencies and individuals who had a part in bringing radKIDS to Ware County Schools.
Dr. Linda Houseal (DAFFODIL Principal and Trainer), Mr. Steve Daley (radKIDS CEO), Superintendent Jim L. LeBrun, Chief Tony Tanner, Zina Ponsell (Trainer), and Detective Taylor Luciano (Trainer)
Students parade across the stage as they are congratulated by school system and community officials.
A graduate is congratulated by radKIDS CEO Steve Daley.