For Immediate Release Media Contact: Meg Reggie 404-580-0666 firstname.lastname@example.org Media Advisory Nationally Renowned Children’s Safety Advocates Join Keep Georgia Safe to Raise Awareness for Anti-Bullying Training WHAT The award-winning, revolutionary program created to teach children how to avoid and resist abduction and harm, radKIDS, has successfully trained thousands of children to avoid and escape bullying, an epidemic that causes 160,000 children a day to stay home from school, according to the U.S. Department of Education. Renowned child protection advocates Ed Smart, Steve Daley and Diena Thompson will be in Atlanta in February to join Keep Georgia Safe to raise awareness of radKIDS and its success in child safety and protection. radKIDS is the nation’s leading personal safety empowerment program for children ages 5-12 that provides hands-on learning for children on how to recognize, avoid, resist and escape violence, bullying, abduction and harm. Keep Georgia Safe, the Georgia non-profit organization dedicated to child safety and crime prevention, sponsors and facilitates radKIDS certified instructor training and program implementation into schools and community centers. The radKIDS bullying prevention model curriculum combines self-esteem building with realistic physical skills to escape bullying violence. A curriculum that not only stops bullying behaviors, but also empowers children to stop violence physically when absolutely necessary -- all with the intent to escape and then report, not hide, the encounter. Current research indicates that the only effective way to stop a bully is to make them stop. radKIDS is the only nationally certified curriculum that teaches and empowers children to not only reject bullying in their lives, but to stop physical violence when necessary. The radKIDS curriculum is the foundation to changing the ineffective "zero tolerance” policies in our schools to much more effective and expected policies of "zero victimization". Our children deserve the right to be safe in their education, and radKIDS empowers both the children and the educational system to truly stop the violence and victimization that has reached pandemic proportion in our schools today. To date, 73 children have used their radKIDS skills to escape an attempted abduction, and thousands more have escaped the bullying, abuse and violence in their lives. Due to Keep Georgia Safe’s efforts, radKIDS programs are currently in place at six schools and community centers in Georgia. Smart, father of Elizabeth Smart, who was abducted and miraculously rescued nine months later, Thompson, mother of seven-year-old Somer Thompson, who was abducted and killed in 2009, and Daley, founder and director of radKIDS, are passionately working to educate parents, educators and lawmakers of the critical importance of proactive child protection. WHEN: Thursday, February 10 – Sunday, February 13, 2011 HOW: To schedule an interview with Ed Smart, Diena Thompson, Steve Daley and Keep Georgia Safe founder and chairman Gary Martin Hays or executive director Mary Ellen Fulkus, please contact Meg Reggie at 404-580-0666 or email@example.com. About the Experts Ed Smart Ed Smart is the father of Elizabeth Smart, who was abducted on June 5th , 2002, and miraculously rescued nine months later. Through the loss and return of his daughter, he passionately sought the passage of the "Amber Alert," for the protection and rescue of other children. For the benefit of all children, he lobbied Congress and the Senate tirelessly to prevent further abductions and to rescue missing children. Ed Smart has become a nationally renowned spokesperson for child protection, advocating for legislation and non-profit organizations that focus on the prevention and recovery of missing children. Ed works with and serves on the board of several non- profit agencies including, the National Child ID program, sponsored by the AFCA (American Football Coaches Association), radKIDS; and the I Keep Safe program from the Governors' Spouses Coalition for internet Safety. Ed is also a member of the State of Utah's Amber Alert committee and a frequent guest speaker for Law Enforcement and other agencies involved in protecting children from predators. Steve Daley Stephen M. Daley assumed the responsibilities and duties of the first Executive Director of radKIDS® after working in the field of law enforcement for more than 20 years. His diverse educational background includes a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from Bryant College as well as a Masters Degree in Education from Cambridge College. Steve's Masters Degree included specialized concentrations in Elementary Education and Accelerated Learning Theories. Steve is an accomplished trainer and instructor specializing in police officer safety training, officer survival skills, conflict resolution, and communication skills both on a national level and for the Mass Criminal Justice Training Council. He is proud to say that he has trained over 5000 officers during his law enforcement-training career. While holding virtually every position available in law enforcement from Patrol Officer to Chief of Police, Steve was successful in achieving most of his career goals but he was never able to fully reach his true life's goal of helping children to escape violence. In 1999, with the support of his wife, Colleen and son Corey, Steve retired from a distinguished law enforcement career to become the Executive Director of radKIDS®. His involvement in the radKIDS® foundational research and development committee convinced him that the radKIDS® approach to empowering children had the potential to make a difference in thousands of children's lives. Steve believes that it is not only every child's right to realistic and empowering safety education, but it is our responsibility as adults and parents to provide it. radKIDS® is dedicated to providing all communities, children and parents with the ability to recognize, avoid, resist and escape personal violence and harm. Diena Thompson Diena Thompson found herself living every parent's worst nightmare when her seven- year-old daughter went missing on October 19, 2009. Two days later, in a Georgia landfill, Somer's body was discovered. The community felt an immediate call to action. Fundraisers were coordinated to aide Diena and her family and the Somer Thompson Foundation was formed. A non-profit Foundation was created to assist families who have missing children because of an apparent abduction and who, after proper investigative vetting, are determined not to be culpable in the disappearance. Its mission is to provide education in the form or awareness and prevention to both parents and children to prevent the tragedy of experiencing the loss of a child. In the event that a child is not safely returned, emotional support and financial grants are offered by the Foundation. Gary Martin Hays As a personal injury and wrongful death attorney, Gary Martin Hays has seen, first-hand, how unexpected tragedies can devastate a family. He founded Keep Georgia Safe in 2008 to provide safety education and crime prevention training to Georgia’s families. He has been instrumental in bringing radKIDS to Georgia, as well as training nearly one hundred law enforcement officials in CART (Child Abduction Response Team). Hays was awarded Georgia Trial Lawyers Association's Community Service Award in 2007 for his charitable endeavors for the American Cancer Society, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, and Dream House for Medically Fragile Children. Gary has also served on the Advisory Council for Mothers Against Drunk Driving in Georgia. He has helped raise over $3.5 million for charities, given away 1,000 bicycle helmets and 14 college scholarships, and supported numerous youth sports teams. Mary Ellen Fulkus An education and background in teaching and child protection instruction fully prepared Mary Ellen Fulkus for her post as Executive Director of Keep Georgia Safe, where she oversees all safety curriculum development and program implementation, media awareness and the wireless alert network. Mary Ellen also works as an Independent Consultant within the Criminal Justice Services Child Protection Training for Fox Valley Technical College, a U.S. Department of Justice initiative. Mary Ellen is founder of The Safe-T-Net, Inc. a safety and security training and consulting company for schools, businesses, adults and children. In March of 2007, Mary Ellen participated in the CART (Child Abduction Response Team) AMBER Alert Training Conference in Houston, Texas. She is a nationally- certified rad (Resisting Aggression Defensively) Kids Instructor and a participant in the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Training Conference on Crimes Against Children, in Pensacola, Florida.
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