ELLISVILLE, Wis. (WFRV) Growing up is hard, especially if you’re a grade schooler being bullied. But in Kewaunee County students are learning tools to handle adversity in nonviolent ways.
Inside St. Paul’s Lutheran School in Ellisville, 4th and 5th grade students limber up, preparing for their final class with Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski, the instructor for the COREMatters Project.
“We teach the kids about resilience, about assertiveness, about how to really solve some of those attacks that happen in their lives, not necessarily physical attacks, but the verbal attacks,” said Sheriff Joski.
What Joski is trying to do is to teach these kids to be strong on the inside, to develop nonviolent coping skills, if ever bullied or taunted.
“To say no, I will not be your victim today and the only way to do that is to build up our children,” Joski said.
And to do that Joski shows these kids they have the power to be resilient in adversity – just like they have the power to do a minute long plank.
“The core strength relates to both the physical core strength, as well as the emotional and psychological core strength,” said Joski.
And they can be assertive, deflecting trouble, avoiding attacks – much like avoiding these martial arts moves practiced with their instructor.
“We have to be able to move around and negotiate through the various things in our life. Again, the metaphor,” Joski said
Important lessons learned by ones so young.
“So that people know how to handle it when it comes later in life,” said student Gavin Hrabik.
“I learned respect and how to treat others and I learned how to stand up to people,” said student Kloey Georgel.
“This is really a neat message that I hope carries with these kids from their early years, all the way to adulthood, because we all face bullies,” said Joski.
The program is taught over 13 classes and has been used the past two years by schools in Door and Kewaunee counties.