Pinwheels planted for Child Abuse Prevention Month

Courtesy Photo Children pose for a photo with the April is Child Abuse Prevention Month flag at Sunset School on Hobbs Drive.

ALPENA — April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and the Alpena and Presque Isle Child Abuse and Neglect (CA/N) Prevention Team, along with Exchange Club of Alpena, is spreading the message that everyone can help great childhoods happen in their community.

The CA/N Team and members planted blue pinwheels and banners around Alpena and Presque Isle to remind the community of what a crucial role every member of the community plays in helping to prevent child abuse. The pinwheel, as a fun and whimsical representation of childhood, is the national symbol of child abuse prevention.

The Exchange Club of Alpena has flags displayed throughout Alpena to remind the community of everyone’s role in child abuse and neglect prevention.

All adults should work to ensure that every child has the equal opportunity to grow and reach their full potential. Research indicates that families that have certain “protective factors” will be less likely to abuse or neglect children. These factors are parental resilience, social connections, knowledge of parenting and child development, concrete support in times of need, and social and emotional competence of children.

“Many programs exist in the community to help bring these resources and information to parents, but everyone can help a family they know in these areas. Offer to help a family by mentoring, offering needed items, or just be an ear what will listen,” said Tiffany Eddinger, Alpena CA/N Team president. “We believe that we all play a role in the healthy development of children. April is a time we like to remind our community of the important role that each of us plays in child abuse and neglect prevention. When you see a pinwheel or flag this month, think of what you can do to help in your neighborhood and community.”

Courtesy Photo Children and adults place pinwheels in the ground on April 3 to raise awareness for Child Abuse Prevention Month.

The CA/N Team and the Exchange Club of Alpena are encouraging the public to learn more about how to support the protective factors for their own family and others. To learn more about child abuse and neglect protective factors, visit friendsnrc.org/prevention/protective-factors.

“Child abuse prevention is a national project for the National Exchange Club,” said Courtney Holmes, member of the Board of Directors of the Exchange Club of Alpena.

Some ideas that anyone can do to help prevent child abuse are:

∫ Volunteering to staff an after-school program like the Boys and Girls Club or other programs, or just offer to help a parent you know.

∫ Mentoring a new parent by reaching out to your neighbor and offering to help.

Courtesy Photo Children pose for a photo with the April is Child Abuse Prevention Month flag at Sunset School on Hobbs Drive.

∫ Learning about abuse prevention curricula in place at local schools or churches and advocating to create one if there is not yet a program in place.

∫ Donating time to organizations that support children, such as by offering to be a free tutor or getting involved with a local mentorship program.

∫ Donating money or items to the local Alpena Baby Pantry, Children’s Closet, or soup kitchen.


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