Matt Wilhelm BMX

Matt Wilhelm, a BMX Flatland rider and now motivational speaker, performs at more than 300 schools a year with his anti-bullying message.

KENTLAND — Three-time X Games Medalist, Guinness World Record Holder, and America’s Got Talent semifinalist Matt Wilhelm is coming to South Newton Elementary Oct. 16 for two Anti-bullying assemblies.

Wilhelm, a BMX Flatland rider and now motivational speaker, performs at more than 300 schools a year with his anti-bullying message. He was also featured in the award-winning documentary Stop Bullying: Speak UP with former President Obama.

“With bullying being such a big issue right now, we thought having someone who the kids could be excited about but also learn from would be huge,” said Laura Zak, South Newton Elementary school counselor. “His reviews have been excellent and everyone is very excited.”

Wilhelm’s elementary school assembly program is designed to entertain, educate, and empower. He creatively mixes BMX bike tricks with his own inspiring stories of beating the odds en route to becoming a BMX National Champion.

“From what I have seen and read, he is very good at connecting with the kids because he shares his personal story that a lot of kids can relate to,” added Zak. “I believe this will have a great impact on the kids.”

Wilhelm will give a split performance at South Newton with one at 8:30 a.m. for grades kindergarten through 2nd, and then another program at 9:30 a.m. for grades 3rd through 5th. His program covers three main issues, bullying prevention and kindness, never giving up and growth mindset, and resilience.

Wilhelm states that the assembly will help students learn several key points:

• Why kindness and respect are important

• Bullying: What it is and what it is not

• The myth of “Just Joking”

• The difference between bystanders and up-standers

• The power of words / Think before you speak

• Everyone is different and being different makes you great

• The importance of positive self-talk

• Anything is possible with a “Never Give Up” attitude

• The myth of the “overnight success”

• Hard work pays off

Wilhelm’s performance was in part paid for through a donation from Pipestone Veterinary Services.