April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. Raising awareness is one of the most effective weapons in preventing child abuse. Your readers can help. In our community, there are various events during April that are planned to raise public awareness.
I would like to invite your readers to gather at the Frank Green Building in Oneonta at 11:00 on April 29th, and take part in the DHR Child Abuse Awareness walk. Folks from all over the community will join together and walk two blocks to the courthouse, where there will be a short ceremony, followed by lunch at First Baptist Church. Readers can also help by attending the annual Blue Ribbon Dinner on April 19th, the annual fundraiser for the Blount County Children’s Center. (Call 274-7226 for more information.)
In addition, I encourage each of your readers to talk about child protection at church, at the ballpark, at scout meetings, etc. They should insist that all youthserving organizations in our community have child protection policies to minimize the risks to our children. And most importantly, readers should talk about it with their children. Open parent-child communication is critical. It is not easy to talk with children about such things, but it is very important. I invite your readers to call us at the Children’s Center if they need help. We welcome invitations to speak at churches and with other groups. We can also help youth-serving organizations develop child protection policies. And we can help parents learn how to talk with their children about body safety issues. When it comes to keeping kids safe from abuse – at home, at school, at the ballpark, at church, and everywhere in our community – each of us shares the responsibility.
Jim Ed Clayton
Blount County Children’s Center