By Jim Graden
I recently participated in a First Tee Fundraising Golf Tournament with my good friend and former First Tee board member Mike Whitcraft. First Tee uses golf to instill, in children and teens, the discipline and etiquette that is required on a golf course. I met some very impressive young people that day. Kids and teens that were impacted in a very positive way because of their involvement with First Tee. Not only by the structure and rules of golf, but the people, like Mike, that were willing to golf with the kids and mentor along the way.
It really inspired me and
brought back memories of when I was the president of the Project Action Foundation for over 17 years in nineties and early 2000's. Projection Action was a national Children's Charity, that paid the tuition for at-risk children to participate in Dance, Gymnastics and Martial Arts Studio's.
Project Action is something that I am extremely proud of. We won the Governor's Award for best new Children's Charity in Florida in 1997. We created National Martial Arts Day and was recognized, by letters of proclamation, by over 40 state governors. I was also appointed to the Florida Juvenile Justice Board by Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Governor Charlie Christ. Why am I talking about Project Action and First Tee?
Because I have decided to create a new martial arts mentoring program called Kicking-In For-Kids. Having taught martial arts for over 40 years I know first hand the incredible positive impact martial arts can have on children, including my own son.
What separates martial arts from youth sports is that developing respect, discipline and leadership are required elements of learning Martial Arts, it's not just a hopeful byproduct. Because of the self-defense nature of martial arts training it's imperative that the students
demonstrates a positive attitude, good grades and good behavior in school to progress. Because of the belt progression in martial arts, a child never has to compete to feel and develop a sense of accomplishment and pride in themselves. So, with proper guidance (mentoring) everyone, not just the good athletes, can progress, achieve and gain confidence through martial arts.
Realize children, and especially teens, are going to find mentors, good or bad. This is how gangs are created. I always felt that mentoring programs like First Tee and now Kicking In For Kids is as much an anti-crime program as a children's charity. Because the kids that do not have a positive role model in their life, can easily find the support and guidance in street gangs. My goal is to give a choice to kids that normally would not have one. So, I need your help!
To raise funds for sponsorship we have created a Almost new Marital Arts and Fitness Equipment Store. All high quality used, some new, training gear that I personally inspected for quality. All products come with a 30-day money back guarantee. You can also personally sponsor a child for three, six, or twelve months of martial arts leadership training.
All monies raised on this site go directly to fully sponsoring a child into World Champion Martial Arts. Plus, in addition to covering their tuition, we supply all the sponsored children with uniform and training gear at no cost.
I have no grand expectation for this new program. My goal is to just help as many kids as I can to choose a positive path in life. Like it did for me, many years ago. I would not have had the incredible career I have had without the mentorship and kindness, (I cleaned the Karate school to cover tuition) of my first instructor, Walt Bone. But that is for another Blog. Hope you can see the need and are willing to help us make a positive impact in a Child's life. Please visit our store. Just click on the logo below to go to our store and support Kick In For Kids.