A decade ago Pinwheels for Prevention was born. Prevent Child Abuse America introduced pinwheels as the national symbol for child abuse prevention because, according to preventchildabuse.org, people respond to them. Whimsical and childlike it is the physical embodiment of the ideal childhood, a childhood that every child deserves.
Army Community Service’ Family Advocacy Program held their annual Pinwheel Planting Ceremony at the Soldier Support Center, Friday.
Children from Stout Child Development Center bussed across post to recognize April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month by planting pinwheels in a patch of grass.
Shirley Prewitt, supervising program specialist, Stout Child Development Center, explained that advocating for children and abuse prevention is important.
“Our kids come first,” she said.
Planting pinwheels is a visual way to develop a dialogue and raise awareness, and the children who participate enjoy it.
“They (the kids) had a great time,” Prewitt said.
The children will also be participating at a pinwheel planting at Stout Child Development Center later on in the month.
The students planted blue and silver pinwheels, and a sign would be added to the garden in front of the SSC later. Blue represents the color for child abuse prevention month drawing attention to the plight of child abuse both in the U.S. and around the world. The reflective silver found on the back of the pinwheels also has a meaning.
“It represents the light that each child has as far as potential,” said Scott Chase, child advocate, FAP.
By creating a pinwheel garden at SSC, FAP hopes that it will help inform the community about the issue and educate them about prevention. Chase explained that FAP wants the Fort Bragg community to know that there are resources available to support our military Families and prevent abuse.
FAP partners with schools on the installation and across Cumberland County and child-serving agencies to distribute pinwheels and partner on child abuse prevention events.
“Preventing child abuse is not for just one individual it is a community,” Chase said. “It takes everybody working together to recognize and take the steps to prevent child abuse and make sure that when it happens, it gets reported right away so we can do something about it.”
The message communicated through the pinwheel gardens that pop up throughout the community in April has a resounding message.
“They have a right to be a child, free of abuse and neglect,” Chase said.