Officials raise flag to raise awareness for area’s younger residents

GRAFTON—Individuals from the Taylor County Collaborative Family Resource Network (TCCFRN) and community members met Friday, to promote awareness for child abuse and prevention, during an annual flag raising ceremony.

Each year, the TCFRN spearheads a community-wide campaign geared at educating and bringing awareness to child abuse, their Pinwheels for Prevention program.

Each April, the organization comes together with community members to kick off April, deemed Child Abuse Prevention Month, with the special ceremony.

During the event, Mayor Peggy Barney read a proclamation declaring April 2019 as Child Abuse and Prevention Awareness Month in Grafton.

The proclamation cited child abuse as a community problem, stating that “finding solutions depends on involvement among people throughout the community.”

She said, “All citizens should become more aware of the negative effects of child abuse and its prevention within the community, and become involved in supporting parents to raise their children in a safe, nurturing environment.”

According to reports, approximately three million children are abused and neglected across the United States each year, and that those numbers could be lessened with effective prevention programs.

TCCFRN Executive Director Cathy Coontz-Griffith asked those in attendance to call to mind their happiest childhood memory.

“Once they began to think of their happiest moment, everyone in attendance had a smile on their face,” she shared.

Guests watched as City Manager Kevin Stead and Grafton City Council Member Sheila Westfall raised this year’s Partners in Prevention flag.

During the event, attendees were invited to place pinwheels on the grounds at the International Mother’s Day Shrine.

“The pinwheels represent happy, carefree childhoods that all children deserve,” she commented.

She said that the special day was a good way to bring together resources to help children in need throughout the county.

“It is a perfect time for us to discuss the importance of child abuse awareness and prevention,” Coontz-Griffith expressed. “Every person here is a resource and is capable of helping to impact the issue in a positive way.”

Coontz-Griffith shared that there are numerous steps individuals can take to help shed light on this serious issue.

For more information, please contact the TCCFRN by phone at 304-265-6838.


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