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Parent's Corner

Self-Defense Class Coming to Holy Cross

Seventh and Eighth Grade Girls Will Learn Strategies That Prevent Them From Becoming Victims

The number of young women affected by crime is shocking. But with adequate knowledge and training, our girls can be prepared to defend themselves against dangerous situations. Although we hope our girls will never face a threatening situation, we want them to be prepared if they do.

That’s why Holy Cross is bringing SMARTSAFE training to our seventh and eighth grade girls, beginning Friday, September 9. SMARTSAFE is a self-defense program highlighting situational awareness and danger cues.

Giovanna Follo, an assistant professor at Wright State University-Lake Campus, a practicing martial artist for 20 years and certified SMARTSAFE instructor, will teach basic self-defense skills so students can be given a variety of strategies to adapt to different situations.

“This allows them to stand up for themselves, say no and become less of a target for any predator,” Follo said.  

The class incorporates fitness, teamwork and “champion talks,” which are discussions about being an active bystander, sticking up for someone you don't like, as well as body image and nutrition talks. The techniques will cover bullying, using their voice, assessing dangerous situations, problem solving, and trusting their intuition.

“It is designed to work where the smaller person can get away from the bigger person without using strength,” she said. “I like this system because it is easy and effective. You have to practice self-defense for it to become part of you, so it ‘just comes out.’ This focuses on getting away, on surviving and that is the most important part.”

The goal in empowering girls is giving them techniques that will protect them. But beyond survival strategies, it also teaches girls to speak up and have confidence, especially when they are feeling vulnerable.



Tamber Schorey