|Discipline First Program|
The purpose of the Discipline First Program is to foster the future success of young people by helping them to acquire the self-discipline and right attitudes that support achievement in school and in life.
The Discipline First Program builds upon the principles of Karate and Martial Arts in general to teach what research has now shown, the martial arts is an excellent way for youth to gain the focus, concentration, strategic skills and self-esteem that will benefit them in their academic pursuits as well as all other aspects of life. To achieve this goal, the program aims are that participants will (a) demonstrate fewer behavior problems and (b) exhibit improved academic achievement over the program period.
The program focuses on the following:
Martial Arts Is Our Foundation
Discipline First uses a martial arts foundation to provide programming in self-esteem development, academic skills maintenance and propagation of culture and heritage, as well as provide general athletic and supervised fun activities throughout the summer. All LMF activities and programs reinforce that education is the critical foundation for future success and that self-discipline, self-esteem and respect for others are keys to success in education.
Elements of the "Discipline First" Program
Martial Arts: Martial Arts training provides the youth with a structured environment in which to develop self-discipline and self-control. Progression through the belt system requires learning and executing specific skills that build progressively upon each other and are independent of age. Higher belts can only be achieved through diligence, focus and self-discipline - all skills that are required for educational and professional success.
Benefits: An understanding and respect of their ability to achieve progressively harder goals; development of self-discipline, patience and a respect for others with greater skills and experience.
Learning Skills: Long term educational and professional success comes from learning "how to learn," which requires developing techniques that are different for each student. The educational focus will be on identifying learning patterns and teaching skills and techniques that will support these patterns over the long term. The self-discipline skills learned in the martial arts programming will be tied with the learning skills, with staff using similar language and support pattern.
Benefits: Personalized study techniques, learning how to approach classroom assignments with individualized techniques, improved performance with the classroom and a standardized tests.
Community/Cultural Mentoring: The program will involve volunteer "elders" from the community mentoring the students in areas of respect, goal setting, multiculturalism and professional success. The programming consists of large group presentations meeting with smaller groups of youngsters with particular interests and one-on-one partnering. It will also include opportunities for the students to participate in business and cultural experiences with entrepreneurship, ethnic dancing, writing and singing.
Benefits: An increased awareness of and respect for other cultures, and the importance of education and goal setting.
Focused Assistance: The program will provide small group and one-on-one sessions to teach goal setting and conflict avoidance techniques. Each student will regularly set and monitor goals focusing on education, martial arts and other areas. Conflict avoidance programming will include modeling responses to bullying and redirecting negative behavior.
Benefits: Learning to set and achieve realistic goals, avoiding conflict and developing self-discipline. Students will acquire skills that will help them handle stressful and confrontational situations.
Family Support: Parents and other family members will be provided with regular verbal and written communications that will include ideas for applying the program techniques and reinforcing the messages at home. At the end of each four-week session, the program hosts a family celebration that will include belt-testing, dance, music and drill-team performances.
Benefits: Increased connection between parents/family and children, reinforcement of new skills to improve behavior at home and a broader understanding of the long-term importance of education and strong learning skills.
Counseling: The presence of a professional counselor will enable the youth of the program and their families to work through emotional issues associated with every aspect of their lives (including issues associated with the chaos by Hurricane Katrina, i.e. rescues, evacuation, losses, grief and family/personal stresses resulting from the disaster).
Benefits: Improved ability to deal with disappointments, losses and problems caused by Katrina, better interpersonal relations, increased focus and awareness and reduction of depression and negative behaviors.