A new study by researchers, tracking the progress of 20 public elementary schools in Hawaii, may suggest what parents of children in the Powerful Words Character Development and Martial Arts training at Sidekicks Family Martial Arts Centers in Lithia, FL already know – that students participating in a “character-building” program may in fact perform better academically. The schools were randomly assigned to participate in a new “character-building” program that taught kids life-skills in managing your moods, getting along with others, and making choices that improve your sense of well-being very similar to the Powerful Words Character Development program used everyday in our martial arts classes. The schools that were assigned the character-building program for up to four consecutive years, and student achievement was tested at several points throughout the study. The results were compared with outcomes in control schools.

Initially, the schools without the character building program were better off than the ones that had the control schools happened to be better off. They had higher test scores overall. In fact, their scores were higher than the Hawaiian state average, which the schools participating in the study were not.  However, by the end of the study, the situation had flipped. The schools participating in the character-building program were now outperforming the control schools.

Maybe Benjamin Franklin had it right, “Taking charge of your emotional life, adopting a “can-do” attitude, and learning good people skills doesn’t just make you more popular. It can also improve your intellectual performance.”

For the past five years, Sidekicks Family Martial Arts Centers has made immense use of the Powerful Words Character Development Program. We strive to be more than just a punch and kick school.  We are always looking for ways to enhance the learning experience of children and teens here at Sidekicks Family Martial Arts Centers.  We feel that our students deserve a full curriculum that helps to develop  children socially and cognitively as well as physically.

This is why we teamed up with Child and Adolescent Development Specialist, Robyn J. A. Silverman, PhD.  Dr. Robyn provides us with a multitude of resources to the families of our school for the betterment of our children.

Dr. Robyn, as many call her, had developed a comprehensive character development curriculum called Powerful Words!  Powerful Words provides easy-to-follow lessons for children ages 4-6 and 7-12 years and teens–lessons that give each student the strength to explore and the foundation to succeed.  Here at Sidekicks Family Martial Arts Centers, such a character education program used within the context of our organized martial arts lessons, can invite students to listen, share, discover, and reflect on the ways to become upstanding members of our community as well as confident individuals in their own right.

You will notice some very exciting enhancements taking place at our academy.  Our bulletin boards will  offer our parents a one stop information center to keep you updated as to what the children will be learning, in addition, you’ll be receiving monthly editions of Parent’s Perch, Dear Dr. Robyn, and Powerful Projects (which are required for advancement).  The Parent’s Perch is a letter that describes the Powerful Word of the Month and how we will be teaching it at our academy.  this can serve as a great discussion starter for you and your kids!  The Dear Dr. Robyn column is kind of like “Dear Abby” for parents of the martial arts…I know you’ll find it helpful!  Each month our students will have the opportunity to be positively recognized for completeing a powerful Project.  These projects are age apporpriate, very educational, and fun to do!  You’ll also notice that at the end of every class our students will get to take part in a PowerChat that will help them to solidify their understanding of the Powerful Character Word of the Month.  Dr. Robyn has written this curriculum specifically for use in our martial arts academy, so our students will actually getting two world class programs for the price of one!

To learn more about how the instructors at Sidekicks Family Martial Arts in Lithia, FL teach character in children, please visit: http://www.kidslovemartialartslithiafl.com

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