Posted by Terry Alexander - email
HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - Efforts are underway to keep young children away from violence in Henrico's Highland Springs community.
Neighbors around here are trying to forget the deadly shooting of a pregnant teenager that happened about a month ago. But that hasn't kept the police from making daily rounds.
Just in the past two weeks, police have come to Highland Springs for a knife assault on West Washington Street, car vandalism on Ivy Avenue, and a drug bust on North Kalmia Avenue. So parents are trying just about anything to keep their kids away from it.
Eight year old Kyra Williams doesn't know much about the recent crime where she lives. But her mother does.
"My husband and I wanted her to start at a young age so when she becomes a teenager she'll be able to protect herself and stay away from all of the violence that is going on the city," said Tamara Williams, Kyra's mother.
Tamara says there's a concern among parents in Highland Springs that their kids will one day get mixed up in the wrong group. That's where John Cox comes in.
"The area is getting a bad rap because of the bad elements hanging on the outside. If you separate those elements, you have good in the community," said John Cox.
Every Monday night at the high school, John teaches karate to a small group of young children. There's no cost to join, and the lessons are invaluable.
"Teach them about respect and honesty and discipline at a young age," John said.
"With her coming to karate it is a positive influence on her, and it keeps her focused on what she needs to do," said Tamara.