radKIDS program comes to Madera County

January 8, 2013 12:00:01 AM PST
A new and unique anti-bullying program is heading to Madera County. radKIDS is designed to teach children how to take charge of any situation.

radKIDS founder, Stephen Daley said, "When people say we don't have time for this, I go you don't have time not to. This will change everything."

Daley is passionate about teaching children how to change their mindset, to protect themselves.

"So we teach them how to respond instinctively as well as empower them cognitively to believe that no one has the right to hurt them," explained Daley.

The Madera County Sheriff's Department brought in Daley from the East Coast to teach local law enforcement and teachers the core lessons of an anti-bullying program called radKIDS.

Kristine Hawk with the Madera County Sheriff's Department said, "If we don't start instilling in them the skills that they need to survive and to deal with the things they face everyday, we're not going to have a future."

Unlike other programs, radKIDS takes an active approach with kids teaching them how to recognize, avoid and resist situations.

Hawk added, "Imagine what a difference it could make if they actually disclosed when something happened or better yet, we give them their voice, we tell them you can speak up and say no stop this isn't right."

Daley says so far, the skills have helped children stop bullying, abduction, and sexual assault.

"The best way to protect your child is to teach them how to protect themselves, not scare them, but give them an opportunity to see what they can do," said Daley.

The hope is that these classroom lessons will follow every student home.

The radKIDS program will kick off at Rivergold and Coarsegold elementary schools. The sheriff's department hopes to eventually bring the program to Madera and across the county in the hopes of empowering and equipping all children.