June 19, 2024

IE COMMUNITY NEWS

El Chicano, Colton Courier, Rialto Record

NSG Impact’s emotional teaching program gives RUSD students insight on how to handle cyberbullies, tips inside

3 min read

Photos courtesy NSG Impact: NSG Impact CEO Darious Harris wrapping a RUSD student’s hands to prepare for a no-contact boxing lesson.

Darious Harris, CEO and founder of Never Stop Grinding Impact, has developed a program that combines social and emotional learning with non-contact boxing to help students manage their emotions and behavior. 

The program, called Impactful Emotional Teaching (IET), has been implemented in two Rialto Unified School District elementary schools since August 2021, with plans for expansion to other schools inside and outside the district.

Students in the program are only allowed to participate in the boxing component if they listen and pay attention to the social emotional learning lecture.

“As a professional boxer, I learned to control my emotions through the art of boxing,” Harris said. “Learning how to relax under pressure, I take those same things I learned there and apply it to real life. I teach these kids who grew up in the same district as myself how to be in charge of their emotions.”

The program emphasizes self-awareness, social awareness, responsible decision-making, and relationship skills. Students write down their goals and areas they want to improve on, as well as their strengths and accomplishments. The program also includes group activities and games that require teamwork and constructive decision-making.

A female student with Harris during a no-contact boxing lesson in January 2023.

This week, the program covered bully awareness, with customized lesson plans that teach students how to handle bullying and not to be a bully themselves. “We teach kids that being a bully is not a form of love and that if you’re bullying, that’s not the right thing to do. We get to the root of why they are bullying, and it gets deep, and we get the kids to open up,” Harris said.

Harris stresses the importance of cyberbullying awareness, especially during the pandemic when students are spending more time online. “It needs to be talked about more. We give at least one bully awareness lesson a week,” he said. 

Harris advises students to “let someone know and cut all contact with that person; block, delete, and let an adult know.”

The program has shown positive results, with improved attendance and behavior among participating students. “I’ve seen tremendous progress,” Harris said. “By next year, we should be at 10-15 schools, and we plan to expand outside of Rialto.”

Harris notes that the program goes beyond boxing and emphasizes the importance of listening skills. “We tell them if you can’t listen, you can’t learn. Lesson plans always come before boxing. We say no listening, no boxing.”

Harris shares a success story of a male student who was once disruptive and had no focus – he started the program a year ago when he was in the second grade. “He used to be sent to the office multiple times per week, but he has done a 180 and his grandma is happy with his progress. This student is still in the program. His social skills, teamwork, and self-management have improved,” Harris said.

For schools interested in learning more about the program, they can contact Never Stop Grinding Impact at info@neverstopgrindingimpact.com or visit their website at neverstopgrindingimpact.com.

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