Windsurfer, Backyard, Spiderman — these were just a few of the stunt tricks Chris Poulos performed for local students on his BMX bike Sept. 12 at Prairie City School.
Poulos, a youth motivational speaker and world champion athlete from Rhode Island, shared ideas about making good decisions and showing respect with Prairie City elementary students in the morning and spoke with a bigger crowd of junior high and high school youth from Prairie City, Grant Union, Burnt River and Dayville schools in the afternoon.
Over 350 students enjoyed the presentation.
He asked the elementary students, “How many of you have heard about respect?” and hands were quickly raised.
A few students were asked to share ways they can earn respect, and their answers included helping someone if they’re hurt and being nice.
“If you have respect, people want you around because they can trust you,” he said.
He shared stories from his youth, including a time when he lied to his mom, afraid to tell her about breaking a neighbor’s window.
“We make mistakes,” he said, adding, “People respect someone who’s honest. Be someone who is not afraid to be honest.”
Poulos also shared anti-bullying and anti-cyberbullying messages with the older students.
Educational assistant Amanda Rockhill and teacher Meghan Tremblay volunteered for his final stunt that morning.
The two intrepid ladies lay on the gym floor, and Poulos asked the kids, “Do you think I can do this?”
The students cheered loudly as he accelerated on his bike toward them and hopped over them.
Tremblay said she and her fifth- through sixth-grade class enjoyed the presentation.
“We’ve gone on YouTube and watched his videos doing stunts and speaking,” she said.
“One thing he said was instead of treating others the way you want to be treated, try treating them even better,” Tremblay said. “I try to remind them of that each day.”