Retro Bill wants children to stay on a positive channel.
Using a remote control as a prop, motivational speaker Retro Bill told the students at Salt Creek Valley Elementary School Friday morning to "mute" people who call them names.
"Don't go to their channel," he said.
Wearing a multi-colored shirt and sporting an oversized pompadour, Retro Bill talked with fourth- and fifth-graders during the first stop of a planned tour of the county.
Retro Bill, whose real name is Bill Russ, has been making annual visits to the Leavenworth area for several years to talk to school children about issues such as bullying and drug abuse. But in the past, his visits have focused mostly on schools in the city of Leavenworth. This time, he also will be speaking at schools in the Basehor-Linwood and Tonganoxie districts. He began Friday by speaking at schools in the Easton district.
The countywide tour was arranged through the Leavenworth County Sheriff's Office with grant funding from the Leavenworth County-Cities Drug and Alcohol Abuse Council.
"The kids get a lot out of it," Sheriff Andy Dedeke said of the presentations.
Speaking after the Salt Creek Valley presentation, Dedeke said seeing the children interact with Retro Bill makes the program worthwhile.
Retro Bill's tour will include a presentation during a free family night event. That's scheduled for this evening at Pleasant Ridge Elementary School.
The tour also will include an appearance at a Kansas City area Drug Abuse Resistance Education festival Tuesday in Bonner Springs.
The tour will wrap up Wednesday with visits to public and private schools in Leavenworth as well as Lansing Elementary School.
During his presentation at Salt Creek Valley, Retro Bill told the students to make good choices and have positive friends.
He said trusted adults are always there for the students, but the children have to be willing to talk to them.