C.O.R.E Day 2020 focuses on leadership, empathy, prevention and safety

Eddie Slowikowski, CORE Day key speaker.

C.O.R.E Day 2020 focuses on leadership, empathy, prevention and safety

By Shiloh Appel

Redfield Public School’s C.O.R.E Day was held on Wednesday, October 7th, 2020 in a vastly different world than that of last year’s event. After eight months of a world changed by COVID-19, Redfield students are now in “tier two” of Redfield School’s COVID-19 precautionary wellness plan.  They have been adjusting to the new daily routine of mandatory masks, sanitization and social distancing. However, with all of the uncertainty, C.O.R.E Day 2020 seemed to be ever more impactful.

Redfield’s annual C.O.R.E Day, which was held for the first time on September 18th last year, is a full day of special speakers and breakout sessions aimed at helping students to form character and identify their core values. In fact, C.O.R.E stands for Character, Open to Opportunity, Resilience and Excellence. Middle school and high school principal, Kendra Becker, came up with the acronym last year and the Spink County Coalition led the way in organizing the event. This year, themes focused on leadership, empathy, prevention, safety and wellness. Special speakers included nationally-known speaker Cara Filler, the Fallout Shelter Self-Defense group from Watertown, and nationally-recognized returning speaker, Eddie Slowikowski.

Cara Filler, who is known as one of the “top Youth Motivational and Prevention speakers in the world,” shared the story of her twin sister, who was killed in a high-speed car crash the day before her 18th birthday. Cara emphasized the importance of vehicle safety, standing up to bullies, and taking the keys from someone who has had too much to drink.

Fallout Shelter Self-Defense, of Watertown, introduced students to mental and physical tactics to manage fear, gain confidence, and learn effective safety skills. Among the lessons taught by Fallout Shelter were how to respond in a violent encounter, how to recognize threatening behavior, and how to diffuse a situation.

Keynote speaker, Eddie Slowikowski, spoke on the importance of empathy and leadership this year. During the last half hour of C.O.R.E Day 2020, Slowikowski spoke to all Redfield Middle School and High School students in the Ken Greeno building. He told them a story of his encounter with a homeless man on a below-zero winter day that changed his life. After hearing the homeless man’s story and providing him with food and lodging for the night, Slowikowski and his friends began a movement to help the homeless. Slowikowski used the story to urge students to practice empathy and understanding. He also urged the students to take the lead in doing the right thing in order to set an example for others to follow. Slowikowski is nationally known as a dynamic speaker who incorporates music, sound effects, and dance into his messages. He is a former NCAA All-American runner who represented the U.S. at the 1987 Pan Am games and the 1992 Olympic Trials. He is also a USA Gold Medal winner and is best known for his 1990 race at Madison Square Garden, where he ran the fastest college indoor mile in 3 minutes and 58 seconds.

National SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) CEO, Rick Birt, who was also a part of C.O.R.E Day in 2019, returned this year to offer a greeting from National SADD and support the Spink County Coalition throughout the day.

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