Pass the Pinwheel: Child Abuse Prevention Month

The Arts Empowerment Project is proud to be on the steering committee for Mecklenburg County’s 2016 Child Abuse Prevention Month.
DSC02019MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. – Local officials and representatives of several child-serving organizations will launch the fourth annual Child Abuse Prevention Month campaign in Mecklenburg County on Thursday, March 31, at a press conference at the Mecklenburg County Courthouse.

Speakers include District Attorney Andrew Murray, Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts and Mecklenburg County Manager Dena Diorio. Trevor Fuller, chairman of the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners, will share a proclamation declaring April as Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Following the press conference, participants will “plant” a  pinwheel garden outside of the courthouse to serve as a visual reminder of the importance of child abuse prevention. The pinwheel has become a symbol of child abuse awareness in North Carolina and across the United States. Shining in the sun,  pinwheels are reflective of the bright future all children deserve. Pinwheel gardens will be visible across Mecklenburg County in April as volunteers plant the pinwheels at a variety of locations, including local schools, nonprofits and businesses.

The fourth annual campaign is organized by the Mecklenburg Child Abuse Prevention Team, which is made up of representatives from government, education, nonprofit and health organizations that play a role in the protection of children. These agencies join forces in April because their leaders recognize the need to educate the community about child abuse prevention strategies. Throughout the month, the team will share prevention tips with parents, care givers and children while also working to educate Mecklenburg County residents about their legal and moral responsibility to report suspected child abuse or neglect.

DSC02022The month’s awareness and prevention activities begin with the March 31 press conference, which will be held at 10 a.m. The event will take place on the lawn behind the courthouse, located at 832 E. Fourth St., Charlotte, near the traffic circle, which is accessible from Fourth Street. Parking is available in the 4th Street parking deck. In the event of rain, the press conference will be held in the lobby of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center.

Pat’s Place Child Advocacy Center, a Mecklenburg Child Abuse Prevention Team participating agency, will plant pinwheels at the center’s location on East Boulevard in Charlotte from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. March 31. The community and members of the media are invited to join volunteers there for planting and refreshments.

For more information about pinwheel planting at Pat’s Place, contact Janet Harmon at 980-613-8967. For details about upcoming events, ways to help and more information about the Mecklenburg Child Abuse Prevention Team, visit www.meck4kids.org or find the team on Facebook and Twitter.

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