By Kim Kalliber and Jeannie Briones; photos by Jeannie Briones
Empowerment, self-esteem and safety skills – these are a few of the core values of the radKIDS program and 21 proud radKIDS graduates are now armed with these important life skills. Tulalip police officers, instructors and
students celebrated the graduation at Quil Ceda & Tulalip Elementary School on March 26.
RadKIDS, which has been in operation at Quil Ceda & Tulalip Elementary for two years, is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to providing effective lifesaving skills to children. Through this program, kids become empowered to recognize and avoid dangerous situations, and to replace the fear and confusion they may feel in these situations with confidence and self-defense skills.
“There is no other program like it for safety. Students benefit from learning about safety, like being safe from a bully, staying away from drugs and alcohol and keeping safe from someone who’s trying to harm them,” said Rochelle Lubbers, Tulalip Police Department Emergency Services Manager and radKIDS Instructor.
During the graduation, students received a certificate and got to demonstrate their newly acquired self-defense skills against the “redman.” Tulalip police officer Mark Nelson wore the padded red suit to protect himself from the kids slick moves like shin kicks, toe kicks and knee kicks.
This training includes kids and their parents creating a password. A password is a word that is used as a safety check should a parent need to send another adult to pick up a child from school, sports, etc. The purpose of the password is to protect your child from going with someone under false pretenses. When approached by a stranger, the child will ask for a password, if the stranger does not know the password, the child is then taught to run away or seek help.
“We can get away from who tries to take us. It feels good to be safe,” said Nakoyia Fryberg, radKIDS graduate and Tulalip tribal member.
To learn more about the radKIDS program visit www.radkids.org