Oceanside Unified Schools, Kalamazoo Public Schools
Karyl Ketchum, Educator
“As a Drug and Violence District Coordinator and Physical Education/Biology Teacher, I was introduced to this program back in 1997. Ann and myself go way back in time. I introduced this program to the elementary schools in Oceanside, California at its introduction. The program was successful as long as there was a leader to lead the program with consistency. Students remember this simple slogan and I have witnessed the success and positive impression it has left on so many.
When I left California and returned to Michigan in 2017, I began teaching in the Kalamazoo Public Schools as a PE specialist. The climate of our learning environments for students have changed and it was obvious students today do not have tools to cope with the new ways of the world. Elementary students learning to cope with new learning/testing requirements, environmental changes, and world pandemics placed them in a very vulnerable learning atmosphere. In the lower elementary, students’ brains are not developed to handle the conflict, stress, and family dynamics of today. This is where this program adds tremendous positivity, giving the youth of today something to hold on to…
” I Will Not Use My Hands Or My Words For Hurting Myself Or Others.”
Fourteen small words that provide a life jacket to those who have nothing to hold on to…an effective tool to help all students.”