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    On Sunday, Oct 20, a free community event was held at the Rec Center and sponsored by Autism Speaks with Jeff Ellis of International Karate Centers (Strongsville) facilitating the program.  Parents and school age children (K-6th grade) had the opportunity to attend this workshop titled, Bully Proofing Your Child.  At the workshop, children learned strategic ways to take a peaceful approach to such a destructive social problem.  Parents discovered how to empower their child(ren) to overcome a difficult situation.  The overall experience aimed to build confidence in children and help them to stand tall and make good decisions. 
    Mr. Ellis has been an advocate for children for nearly 40 years and is the founder of "Don't Be A Victim" programs.  He promotes personal character development in his martial arts classes.  His classes focus on building skills and student confidence, developing focus/concentration, and acquiring a greater self-respect.  Assisting Mr. Ellis at the workshop was one of his students, Molly Largent, who is a 6th grade student at Surrarrer Elementary.  She began taking martial arts lessons from Mr. Ellis at age 4 1/2.  Not only has she gained great confidence over the years, but the skills she has developed are truly remarkable.  She competed in the Pan American Karate Championship this past summer and won a gold medal in sparring and a bronze medal in kata.  Overall, everyone who attended the Bully Proofing Your Child workshop gained valuable information and had lots of fun too!