Each year, more than 5,000 stranger abductions take place. Jaycee Lee Dugard was one such child, when at the age of 11 she was abducted by two strangers while walking to a school bus stop at South Lake Tahoe.
In 1997, Soroptimist International of South Lake Tahoe (SISLT) in cooperation with Jaycee’s mother, Terry Probyn, and local law enforcement developed a cohesive program to keep our 5th grade children safe from potential abduction. We began with the fifth graders because our research showed that the most common age at which children are abducted is 11 – 12 years old. The program was expanded in its second year to include fourth-graders. Eventually we added both third and sixth grade presentations. The Third grade program is currently under the auspices of our sister club, Soroptimist International of Tahoe Sierra (SITS).
The motto for our program is “The best time to get away is right away” and we teach our students first of all, how to avoid dangerous situations, and then how to get away should they get abducted. The skills are introduced in the lower grades and reinforced and expanded as they go through the grades.
Every year, our members volunteer to make the Fighting Chance presentations in every 4th and 5th grade class in Lake Tahoe Unified School District. The 6th grade classes are delivered in the 6th grade PE classes at South Tahoe Middle School. In addition to the classroom presentations, SISLT is fortunate enough to have received a training car in from our local sheriff’s department. We use the car during our 6th grade presentations to give the students actual experience in how to escape from a car.
Each of the presentations lasts about 45 min. with added time for student questions.
If you would like any additional information regarding our program, A Fighting Chance please, feel free to contact us.