“When a stranger comes, we learn how to get away from them,” Colin said.
On Friday, Colin and his classmates practiced doing moves like “stomp, step back and kick” and the “helmet block” to protect themselves from would-be attackers.
Goliger has taught her students these modified martial arts techniques to prepare them should a stranger ever reach for them.
It’s lessons like these that Goliger took from the self-defense curriculum she created in the late 1990s and used to write a children’s book on safety in 2006.
These same self-defense practices for children caught the attention of the Book Publicists of Southern California, which gave Goliger’s book the 2007 IRWIN Award for community service in October.
“We felt that she exemplified someone who was, through her work, doing a community service,” said Brad Butler, who was on the selection committee for the IRWIN awards this year.
The book publicists organization, a networking organization for authors, has been giving out IRWINs — which stand for Industry Recognition of Writers in the News — for 13 years.
Goliger won the award not only for the community service nature of her book, but also for the way she has promoted the book since she self-published it in 2006.
While there are many self-defense programs out there, Goliger said her niche is that she is a teacher and her program was written specifically for kids.
Goliger has been teaching her program — which she calls CLASS, for Children Learning Awareness, Safety and Self-Defense — as part of her physical education classes at La Crescenta Elementary School, Mountain Avenue Elementary School and Lincoln Elementary School since 1999.
When parents started asking for children’s self-defense materials to take home, Goliger decided to turn the curriculum into a book geared for families to read together.