On Saturday, Feb. 16, Shidoshi Offutt of Tristar Martial Arts hosted a Stay Safe program at the Mount Airy branch of the Carroll County Public Library. The focus was on stranger danger, safety, and anti-bullying at the “Stay Safe with Tristar Martial Arts” program, instructed by Joe Offutt, the chief instructor at the Tristar Martial Arts Academy.
Erin Gambrill, the Children’s Services supervisor at the Mount Airy branch, stated in an email interview, that this is not the first time they have hosted this event at this library. CCPL has hosted the program in other library branches in the county.
Joe Offutt also explained, in an email interview, that years ago he approached the Mount Airy library about teaching a program named, a Stranger and Bully Class to teach kids how to handle different situations and now, after five years, he is hosting this new event for the kids in the community.
Offutt stated that he was an elementary school teacher and he has been teaching programs like this one for the past 12 years and during his program, he teaches “the kids how to talk with confidence and attempt to use non-violent methods of staying safe. We also teach some strategies to escape from bullies and strangers in a more serious situation. We keep it very fun and non-threatening for the young kids.”
Gambrill also explained that it is very important for the library to host programs likes this one that promote physical fitness, personal discipline, community awareness, and self-confidence for people of all ages.
“Tristar Martial Arts has been a great partner to our public for many years. From facilitating programs at our branches to being Summer Discovery supporters and providing prize vouchers for kids who participate in summer reading,” stated Gambrill.
Offutt explained that this is a community service activity that Tristar Martial Arts provides for the kids and adults in Mount Airy.
“I know how important it is for kids and adults to feel safe in all learning environments. When a child or adult feels threatened by people or their surroundings it is impossible to focus on learning. Since the library is a place for education, it is a great program to offer,” stated Offutt.