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County-wide pinwheel campaign encourages community involvement

LACASA Center’s CAP (Child Abuse Prevention) Council will host its annual “Pinwheels for Prevention” ceremony Wednesday, April 6, 2016, to launch National Child Abuse Prevention Month in Livingston County.

Members of the community are invited to help plant a pinwheel garden during a special ceremony that will take place at noon on the front lawn of the Howell Carnegie Library, located at 314 W. Grand River Ave., in downtown Howell.

The “Pinwheels for Prevention” event will feature the Voices of Voyager Choir from Voyager Elementary School in Howell. Speakers will include Livingston County United Way Executive Director Nancy Rosso; Livingston County Undersheriff Mike Murphy; and LACASA President and CEO Bobette Schrandt.

The pinwheel was selected eight years ago by Prevent Child Abuse America (PCA) to serve as the new national symbol for child abuse prevention. It is a happy, carefree symbol that reminds us that all children deserve a great childhood.

Like LACASA’s CAP Council, other designated local councils of the Michigan Children’s Trust Fund, a state partner of PCA, will plant gardens across Michigan at the beginning of April. Pinwheel garden initiatives will take place across the nation this month.

In Livingston County, community pinwheel gardens will sprout up at 60 different locations. Partners hosting gardens will include public schools in each of the county’s five school districts and the Livingston Educational Service Agency. In addition, local businesses, chambers of commerce, and health and human service agencies are joining the pinwheel partnership.

The pinwheels at the library and other locations will remain in place throughout April as a month-long reminder about the importance of preventing abuse and neglect before they occur so children can grow up safe, healthy and whole.

Get involved

LACASA’s CAP Council encourages local residents to get involved in efforts to ensure the safety and well-being of Livingston County Children. The following tips from PCA’s “Pinwheels for Prevention” campaign are easy for everyone to implement:

• Be a friend to a parent you know. Ask how their children are doing. Draw on your own experiences to provide reassurance and support. If a parent seems to be struggling, offer to babysit or run errands, or just lend a friendly ear. Show you understand.

• Be a friend to a child you know. Remember their names. Smile when you talk with them. Ask them about their day at school. Send them a card in the mail. Show you care.

•  Talk to your neighbors about looking out for one another’s children. Encourage a supportive spirit among parents in your apartment building or on your block. Show that you are involved.

• Give your used clothing, furniture and toys for use by another family. This can help relieve the stress of financial burdens that parents sometimes take out on their kids.

• Volunteer your time and money for programs in your community that support children and families.

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