It’s All About TRUST!

By Matthew Barbis, Founder & Chairman

The Rose Brucia Educational Foundation

One key component of The Stranger Safety Awareness Program is centered around the word “Trust”.  When we dissect the word “Trust”, you can see that the word is held together by the letters “u” & “s”.  Our Educational Coordinator, Patrick Chierichella, likes to point out that when you examine the word “Trust”, you can see a bridge created by “us”.  Pat concludes that without “us”, meaning the two people involved, you and me, there can be no trust – it takes both of “us” to trust one another.  A bond needs to be formed.  Before you can trust someone, some type of relationship needs to be established.

In our very first lesson of The Stranger Safety Awareness Program, we discuss the need for a formal introduction.  In early childhood, these introductions are controlled by our parents.  Later, as we go to school, proper introductions take on a less formal nature since our teachers introduce us to new students. Trust becomes implied through the school atmosphere.  The same type of progress exists in our personal life, as we meet new people, ie. distant cousins, next-door neighbors, friends around the block, and friends in the neighborhood.

Take the time to review a few important items with your children:

Practice making a formal introduction with your child. Pretend that you do not know each other and state your name, and extend your hand to handshake.

After your introduction, you now introduce your child to a third person. Again, pretending is key here, since you are doing this in a safe, controlled environment.

Explain to your child that now that Mom & Dad have introduced you to that person, they may now start to trust that person.

Also explain to your child what SPECIFICALLY they may trust about that person. Remind them that though you trust that person, they are not to go with that person without your permission.

Finally, explain to your child that if they are not formally introduced to a person from someone who you have established trust – that person is a STRANGER.

A STRANGER is someone who they do not know, haven’t been formally introduced to and can NEVER be trusted!

This activity will open the door to further communication. Encourage your child to ask you more questions. Questions such as “why can’t I trust a stranger”? will give you the opportunity to explain that not all strangers are dangerous, but all strangers are not to be trusted if they ask your child to go someplace with them or help them in some way or approach their car, etc.  The more questions and imagination that your child brings into the discussion, the better you can prepare them for a potentially dangerous encounter with a stranger.  Remember, the purpose of The Stranger Safety Program is to teach children what to do BEFORE a stranger approaches.  Since you are the very first person that your child has ever trusted, this activity is best taught to them by you.

 

About The Rose Brucia Educational Foundation
Founded by Matthew J. Barbis after his 11-year-old cousin, Carlie Brucia, was abducted and murdered in Sarasota, FL in 2004. The Rose Brucia Educational Foundation’s goal is to reduce the number of child abductions in the U.S. by educating and empowering young minds with the knowledge necessary to avoid abduction. Utilizing puppets and a formalized educational curriculum, the foundation provides elementary-aged children with the Stranger Safety Awareness Program, free of charge. The Rose Brucia Educational Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

The Secret Word

By Matthew Barbis, Founder & Chairman

The Rose Brucia Educational Foundation

“Innocence is always unsuspicious”Joseph Joubert

That is a quote that rings loudly in my head as I write today’s blog to kick off the first school day of “Rose Brucia Stranger Safety Awareness Week” in New York State.  It drives home two very profound thoughts that motivate all the volunteers at The Rose Brucia Educational Foundation.  One, that children are probably only innocent for a very short time in today’s society.  It is difficult for parents to maintain their innocence with constant bombardment of advertising and a continual feed of “information” available through the media and the internet.  Two, due to their innocent nature, it is very easy for a child to fall victim to circumstance.  As somber as that sounds, we strive to maintain innocence in children for as long as possible – the world is tough enough without having to thrust them into adulthood prematurely. Enough philosophy – let me get to the point.

Since children may be tricked into a dangerous situation if their parents aren’t around, here’s what we can teach them without having to scare them.  Creating a secret word with your child can be the key to making sure they may not be tricked into going with someone they should not.  This will work outside the realm of stranger safety for it is very simple.  If the child is not told the secret word, they do not go with that person.

Parents: Sit down with your child and create your very own secret word.  It is a word that only you and your child will know. It is very important that you stress that they do not tell ANYONE this word.  It will only be told to them, never the other way around.  Once you have created it, teach your child that they will only hear this word if you cannot come to pick them up somewhere.  You will be the only person in the world that can share this word and you will only do it in an emergency.  Practice with them to show different circumstances where the word would be used.  Now, no one will be able to tell your children that you were in an accident and that they sent that person to pick them up; they won’t fall for the stranger offering them a ride to school; they even won’t fall for a familiar person trying to trick them.

About The Rose Brucia Educational Foundation
Founded by Matthew J. Barbis after his 11-year-old cousin, Carlie Brucia, was abducted and murdered in Sarasota, FL in 2004. The Rose Brucia Educational Foundation’s goal is to reduce the number of child abductions in the U.S. by educating and empowering young minds with the knowledge necessary to avoid abduction. Utilizing puppets and a formalized educational curriculum, the foundation provides elementary-aged children with the Stranger Safety Awareness Program, free of charge. The Rose Brucia Educational Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

All Week Long

By Matthew Barbis, Founder & Chairman

The Rose Brucia Educational Foundation

With the Governor officially signing in the third week of October each year as “Rose Brucia Stranger Safety Awareness Week” in New York State, please be on the lookout for our posts on each day of this special week.  Its purpose is to bridge the gap between a casual discussion about “stranger danger” and a true educational curriculum to enhance your child’s skills when it comes to dealing with strangers.

My first thoughts on the daily blog were to highlight our top 7 stranger safety awareness tips to bring them to the forefront of conversation, while also reminding teachers in NY State that our free program is available to add to their daily lessons.  Unfortunately, today’s news on Long Island started with an eery reminder of why we do what we do.  According to News 12:

MERRICK – The Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District has alerted parents that a man tried to lure a student into his car.

The district says a man approached a Calhoun High School student on Merrick Avenue yesterday and offered a ride to the student. He continued to approach the student in his car, saying “hello” before speeding off.

The suspect is described as a man in his mid-40s with receding brownish red hair. He was wearing sunglasses, a red shirt and driving a white sedan.

I never like to use scare tactics to reinforce why it is so important for children to be properly prepared to deal with a stranger, but it is sometimes necessary to bring reality into the discussion.  This may be an opportune time for parents & teachers to speak with middle and high school children about the story of my cousin, Carlie Brucia.  She was 11 years old and on her way home from a friend’s house on Super Bowl Sunday in 2004.  As she walked home, she took a short cut off the main road, behind a car wash.  It was there that she encountered a stranger who would abduct her.  This story is not meant to scare, but meant to teach a few important concepts; the very concepts that this foundation is founded upon:

Always walk with a friend – use what we call “The Buddy System”.

Always stay visible when heading anywhere – no short cuts.

Walk with confidence – keep your head up and make eye contact with other people.

Learn how to mirror a stranger’s movements – make the identical movements they make, only in reverse. (they step toward you, you step away).

If you don’t have a driver’s license, does it make sense for someone that does to ask you for directions? Stay away from cars that approach children.

Keep in mind, these concepts may seem like common sense to an adult, but adults cannot always be with children at all times.  As children grow, they like to spread their wings and flex their independence.  It becomes important for us, as adults, to teach the proper foundation for which our children will express their independence when the time comes.  I know I look back and thank my parents, teachers and friends for helping me become the man I am today.  Let’s do the same for our next generation.

Please check back with us each day as we post a stranger safety awareness tip for “Rose Brucia Stranger Safety Awareness Week”.

About The Rose Brucia Educational Foundation
Founded by Matthew J. Barbis after his 11-year-old cousin, Carlie Brucia, was abducted and murdered in Sarasota, FL in 2004. The Rose Brucia Educational Foundation’s goal is to reduce the number of child abductions in the U.S. by educating and empowering young minds with the knowledge necessary to avoid abduction. Utilizing puppets and a formalized educational curriculum, the foundation provides elementary-aged children with the Stranger Safety Awareness Program, free of charge. The Rose Brucia Educational Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

NY State Rose Brucia Stranger Safety Awareness Week

by Matthew J. Barbis, Founder & Chairman

The Rose Brucia Educational Foundation

Next Monday, October 21st, kicks off Rose Brucia Stranger Safety Awareness Week in New York State. Governor Cuomo signed in Resolution K1252-2011 declaring the week.  Here at the foundation, we are very excited to bring our free Stranger Safety Awareness Program to every elementary school in New York State.  The program has been designed, by no accident, to deliver five separate short instructional videos, each with a lesson plan, written to NY state guidelines for Health & Safety. There is one lesson for each day of this special week so that teachers may deliver vital stranger safety concepts to students so that they may practice these skills as they enjoy trick-or-treating on Halloween the following week.  Here is a copy of the resolution that you may share with your PTA president, school principal, or any NY State teacher to make them aware of the event as it unfolds:

LEGISLATIVE   RESOLUTION  memorializing  Governor  Andrew  M.  Cuomo  to
proclaim October 22-26, 2012, as Rose Brucia Stranger  Safety  Awareness
Week in the State of New York

WHEREAS, The State of New York takes great pride in recognizing official
weeks  established  to  increase awareness of serious issues that affect
the lives of all New Yorkers; and
WHEREAS, It is the sense  of  this  Legislative  Body  to  memorialize
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to proclaim October 22-26, 2012, as Rose Brucia
Stranger  Safety Awareness Week in the State of New York; each year, the
third week in October will be declared as Rose  Brucia  Stranger  Safety
Awareness Week in New York State; and
WHEREAS, The Rose Brucia Educational Foundation was founded by Matthew
J.   Barbis when his 11 year-old cousin, Carlie Brucia, was abducted and
murdered in Sarasota, Florida, in 2004; the Foundation was  named  after
Rose Brucia, Matthew’s grandmother; and
WHEREAS,  The  mission of the Rose Brucia Educational Foundation is to
reduce the number of  child  abductions  in  America  by  educating  and
empowering  young minds with the knowledge necessary to avoid abduction;
and
WHEREAS, The Rose Brucia  Educational  Foundation  so  effectively  is
carrying out its mission by spreading its vital message to all elementa-
ry school-aged children across the State of New York; and
WHEREAS,  Utilizing  puppets  and  simple self-defense techniques, the
Rose Brucia Educational Foundation provides elementary schools with  the
Rose Brucia Stranger Safety Awareness Program at no charge; and
WHEREAS,  Since  its inception, the Rose Brucia Stranger Safety Aware-
ness Program has been  welcomed  into  the  community  with  open  arms;
Matthew Barbis’s way of life was sadly changed by Carlie’s tragedy which
prompted  him to take serious action and help other children in America;
and
WHEREAS, Carlie Brucia’s story was highly publicized and today  stands
as  a call to action for families and individuals everywhere to stand up
to child predators; and
WHEREAS, It is the custom of this Legislative Body that  when  founda-
tions  of  such noble aims and accomplishments are brought to our atten-
tion, they should be celebrated and recognized by all  the  citizens  of
this great Empire State; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED,  That  this  Legislative  Body pause in its deliberations to
memorialize Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to proclaim October 22-26, 2012, as
Rose Brucia Stranger Safety Awareness Week in the State of New York; and
be it further
RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be tran-
smitted to Matthew J. Barbis, Founder, Rose Brucia  Educational  Founda-
tion.

Please feel free to view the Stranger Safety Awareness Program and share it with as people as possible to extend the reach to the far corners of the state.

www.rosebrucia.org/downloads

We will continue to provide updates as additional grades are added to the program. There are extra lesson plans provided for second-fifth grades until such video productions are made available.

Thank you for joining us on our mission to reduce child abductions in America.

About The Rose Brucia Educational Foundation
Founded by Matthew J. Barbis after his 11-year-old cousin, Carlie Brucia, was abducted and murdered in Sarasota, FL in 2004. The Rose Brucia Educational Foundation’s goal is to reduce the number of child abductions in the U.S. by educating and empowering young minds with the knowledge necessary to avoid abduction. Utilizing puppets and a formalized educational curriculum, the foundation provides elementary-aged children with the Stranger Safety Awareness Program, free of charge. The Rose Brucia Educational Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

Location! Location! Location!

By Patrick M. Chierichella

The Rose Brucia Educational Foundation 

            Located along the banks of the Ohio River, Cincinnati boasts a metropolitan area population over 2.1 million people. [Read more…]

Invest in Others awards four advisers grants to bolster their causes

 

Charities focus on child protection, nutrition, education and genetic disorder NF

The Invest in Others Charitable Foundation has recognized the efforts of four financial advisers, awarding them each with $5,000 to go toward their charitable endeavors.

Invest in Others, which initially was established by top brass at LPL Financial LLC, recognizes the philanthropic work financial advisers perform for their communities.

The group also partners with InvestmentNews for its annual Community Leadership Awards, which honors advisers who are making a difference in their communities.

Last September, Invest in Others kicked off its Catalyst Grant Program, which encourages advisers to apply for the opportunity to win up to $5,000 for a charity in which they actively participate. Winners were chosen based on how they would use the funds to advance their charity’s goals and outreach.

The following advisers and their charities have been chosen for the award this year:

Matthew J. Barbis, an adviser with Creative Wealth Management LLC in Islandia, N.Y., and founder of The Rose Brucia Educational Foundation.

The group aims to reduce the number of child kidnappings by educating children on the dangers of abduction and basic techniques to defend themselves.

Mr. Barbis applied to the Catalyst Grant Program for funding to cover a national safety educational DVD launch, commemorating Aug. 22 as the National Rose Brucia Stranger Safety Day.

Carl Bailey, president of Bailey & Beatty Financial Services LLC in Danbury, Conn., and president of the Danbury Grassroots Tennis & Enrichment Program.

This program partners with the Danbury School System and others in the community to bring tennis, nutritional education and tutoring services to low-income children in the area.

When applying for the Catalyst Grant Program, Mr. Bailey asked for funds to launch a matching-gift program of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program vouchers — food stamps — at the local farmers’ market to encourage summer participants to eat healthily.

“Our program has three legs: education, exercise and nutrition, and tennis,” said Mr. Bailey. He kicked off a program to match participating families’ food stamps to help them purchase fresh fruit and vegetables at the local farmers’ market. The $5,000 from the Catalyst Grant Program will help subsidize the effort.

“Once kids are obese at 9 or 10 years old, it’s a lifelong battle: You’re struggling forever. This is a critical component of our program,” he added.

Alan Yonack, an adviser with Morgan Stanley and a member of the board at Vogel Alcove in Dallas.

This charity provides early-childhood education to local homeless children, as well as free child care and case management services for homeless families.

Mr. Yonack plans to use the grant money toward a new family enrichment program called Family Matters, which will provide weekend entertainment for homeless families.

Diane Bark, owner of DNB Financial Services Inc. of Baltimore and president of the board of directors at Neurofibromatosis Mid-Atlantic.

This charitable group provides information and support to individuals with neurofibromatosis and their families. Known as NF, the condition is a genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow on the nerves. There is no cure for NF.

Ms. Bark applied to the Catalyst Grant Program to seek funding to kick off a social-media outreach program that will enable one of her volunteers to speak with others who suffer from NF.

Darla Mercado covers life insurance, annuities and retirement products for InvestmentNews, and she’s looking for advisers’ informed opinions, plus chatter on products and other industry developments.
About The Rose Brucia Educational Foundation
Founded by Matthew J. Barbis after his 11-year-old cousin, Carlie Brucia, was abducted and murdered in Sarasota, FL in 2004. The Rose Brucia Educational Foundation’s goal is to reduce the number of child abductions in the U.S. by educating and empowering young minds with the knowledge necessary to avoid abduction. Utilizing puppets and a formalized educational curriculum, the foundation provides elementary-aged children with the Stranger Safety Awareness Program, free of charge. The Rose Brucia Educational Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

2nd Annual Rose Brucia Stranger Safety Awareness Day, August 22, 2012

By Matthew Barbis

It is my pleasure to invite everyone to tune in tomorrow on CNBC, Fox Business Network, Bloomberg, etc. at 9:25am, Wednesday, August 22, 2012 to join the celebration of the 2nd Annual National Rose Brucia Stranger Safety Awareness Day. The Rose Brucia Educational Foundation will be ringing the opening bell at the NASDAQ stock market, live in Times Square.  Special guests include WL Ross CEO Wilbur Ross and Graff Diamonds CEO Henri Barguirdjian.

The NASDAQ has prepared a special ceremony and will be playing one of the episodes from our free curriculum, “Stranger Safety is No Joke”, for all to see in Times Square.  For more information about our free curriculum, please go to http://www.rosebrucia.org/downloads.

 

About The Rose Brucia Educational Foundation

Founded by Matthew J. Barbis after his 11-year-old cousin, Carlie Brucia, was abducted and murdered in Sarasota, FL in 2004. The Rose Brucia Educational Foundation’s goal is to reduce the number of child abductions in the U.S. by educating and empowering young minds with the knowledge necessary to avoid abduction. Utilizing puppets and a formalized educational curriculum, the foundation provides elementary-aged children with the Stranger Safety Awareness Program, free of charge. The Rose Brucia Educational Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

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