SEARCY, AR (KAIT) - When it comes to our children we, as parents ,want to do everything in our power to protect them. Well, a group in Searcy is helping to do that by teaching third graders how to avoid becoming a victim to predators.
It's called "Think First & Stay Safe." The program is organized by the Searcy Junior Auxiliary through Child Lures Prevention. For the past few weeks, representatives from the group traveled to every the public school in town. It's all to teach a major lesson.
"Always think first and stay safe," said third grader Lyrick Denney. It's a motto, Lyrick, and over 350 third graders are learning.
"At this age, they're starting to stay a little bit more at home by themselves. They're able to go to the ballpark or the movie. They're going to be a lot more independent than you or I would have been in the third grade," said Heather Glenn, who is the Searcy Junior Auxiliary Education Chair.
Glenn says with that, comes responsibility. The key is to teach kid how to stay out of the hands of predators, and know what to look for.
"We talk about bribery lures, fake pet lures, we even go into as far as a section on sexual abuse. How it may not always be someone you don't know," said Glenn.
Glenn set up different scenarios to give the students a hands on approach. Third grader Bethany Ellis explains how she learned to respond. "You can take three steps back and if they don't let you say no and run away," said Ellis.
One lesson that stuck with Lyrick, "I learned to call me parents before I got anywhere."
Students a Sydney Deener Elementary were all ears, soaking in a message Glenn hopes will stretch past the classroom.
"We are not able to be there with them every step of their life. If we're able to get in and teach them what to do and when to do it, they'll grow into adults that will not only be able to protect themselves, but their friends and other loved ones," said Glenn.