STATEMENT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: BEN TANZER
(W): 312-663-3520 X823
(C): 312-806-4066

Every Child Deserves a Happy and Healthy Childhood

CHICAGO, IL, January 31, 2014 – Prevent Child Abuse America agrees with the position in the newly-released report from the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) on sexual abuse by school personnel that “we must all expand our efforts to ensure that children have safe and secure learning communities,” especially with the idea that we cannot rely exclusively on the government to do so.

We all have a role to make schools a safe and healthy experience for all children regardless of where they live. For example, parents and guardians should talk to children regularly about what they’re doing, where they spend their time, and who they are spending it with, which can help identify possible problems.

Similarly, experts can be brought in to work with schools to develop support systems that promote a sexually safe and healthy climate for both students and faculty so that educators and administrators will be better able to support the prevention work that parents are doing at home, and parents should feel empowered to ask questions of the administrators.

This report indicates very clearly is that there is much more that can be done to promote the happy and healthy childhoods that all our children deserve. According to the Shakeshaft report from 2004, at least 5% of students report a sexual contact of some type from school personnel before they graduate. We know that relying on background screening to predict which school personnel may pose a risk is necessary but it is in no way sufficient.

The GAO report points to inconsistent reporting requirements and definitions as a problem nationally. As the old adage says “measure is the mark of man,” but if we do not have common definitions, strategies, and efforts to measure our prevention work, the impact is not as great as it could be. There is a clear need, now greater than ever, for the creation of a true national plan for America’s children.

Every child deserves a happy and healthy childhood, but the fact that there are different definitions, standards and reporting requirements in different states makes the monumental task of finding where we need to concentrate our prevention efforts all the more difficult. This task is not left to the government and school systems alone, but it’s up to all of us. Every child, victimized or otherwise, deserves to be served and counted, and every adult, parent or otherwise, plays a role in the prevention of child abuse.

 

 

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Mayor Rahm Emanuel helps turn Chicago's Navy Pier into a Big Pinwheel Garden

 
Mayor Rahm Emanuel and 41st Ward Alderman Mary O'Connor to join Prevent Child Abuse America and its Illinois Chapter in turning Gateway Park at Navy Pier into Big Pinwheel Garden

Chicago event highlights month-long series of activities nationwide calling people to action in support of healthy starts for kids throughout April’s Child Abuse Prevention Month

APRIL 16, 2014 (Chicago, IL) – Mayor Rahm Emanuel and 41st Ward Alderman Mary O’Connor will join Prevent Child Abuse America and Prevent Child Abuse Illinois in turning Chicago’s Gateway Park at Navy Pier into a "Big Pinwheel Garden" on Wednesday, April 16, at 9:30 a.m. CT with hundreds of supporters creating a display of thousands of pinwheels – the national symbol for child abuse prevention. The event calls for people to take action in support of healthy child development as the nation marks April as Child Abuse Prevention Month. This event follows the April 8th Big Pinwheel Garden in Times Square and is one of many such events taking place nationwide throughout April as part of the Pinwheels for Prevention® campaign, through which Prevent Child Abuse America has distributed more than 3.5 million pinwheels nationwide since April 2008.

“We have a responsibility as a city to ensure that every single child in Chicago is able to grow up in a healthy, safe environment,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “Chicago remains committed to preventing child abuse and neglect by increasing support services for families, including our efforts to expand domestic violence shelters for the first time in more than a decade. I am proud to stand with Prevent Child Abuse America and Prevent Child Abuse Illinois to observe Child Abuse Prevention Month and raise awareness for this important issue.”

Mayor Emanuel and Alderman O’Connor will be joined in speaking at the event by Prevent Child Abuse America President and CEO Jim Hmurovich and Prevent Child Abuse Illinois Executive Director Roy Harley.

“We’re here to reinforce the notion that all children deserve stable and happy childhoods, and that we all play a role in making this happen,” said Alderman O’Connor. “As a member of the City Council, one role I play is helping to make sure, along with Mayor and fellow City Council members, that policies and programs are in place that help create environments in which children can thrive. Together we can protect our children from bullying or sexual abuse, and together we can make sure that our children are nurtured and healthy.”

To support the campaign, the public can:

• Help a neighbor in need by offering to baby-sit or give parents a break
• Volunteer for your Prevent Child Abuse America state chapter or another child- or family- serving agency
• Donate at www.pinwheelsforprevention.org/give
• Donate $10 by texting PINWHEEL to 20222* (powered by www.givebycell.com)


“According to UNICEF, the U.S. ranks poorly in children’s issues, including being 32nd out of 34 industrialized nations in terms of child poverty and 26th out of 29 in terms of overall well-being. Realities like these should serve as a wake-up call and that we can and must do better,” said Jim Hmurovich, President & CEO of Prevent Child Abuse America. “Pinwheel gardens are calls-to-action, some as simple as to provide the personal attention to families and children that each of us, from time to time, have needed ourselves. The pinwheels remind us that our nation does not have a national strategy to promote the healthy development of each child, regardless of their circumstances. This must change and our social norms as a nation must change from where we say we value children to all citizens playing an active role in children’s lives.”

“In Illinois,“ Roy Harley, Executive Director of Prevent Child Abuse Illinois pointed out, “our commitment along with all of our public and private sector partners, is that all children grow up in safe, healthy, nurturing environments free of abuse or endangerment of any kind. We know how to do this with effective family programs, early education, and community supports and we have to do this. We have to invest in children! A bright future for all of them is a bright future for all of us. Pinwheels say that every child matters and everyone needs to be involved.”

Prevent Child Abuse America state chapters’ pinwheels-focused events throughout April including a pinwheel garden event hosted by Nebraska’s First Lady in downtown Lincoln, NE; a “pinwheel garden” of 1,000 pinwheels in Indianapolis (each representing 87 healthy births for the 87,000 children born annually in Indiana); and pinwheel rallies at state capitals around the country.

 

Actor Josh Charles and Prevent Child Abuse America transform Times Square into Big Pinwheel Garden

 

Actor Josh Charles and Prevent Child Abuse America transform Times Square into Big Pinwheel Garden

Event promotes pinwheel as symbol for healthy starts for our nation’s children

APRIL 9, 2014 (NEW YORK, NY) – "The Good Wife" actor Josh Charles helped Prevent Child Abuse America transform Times Square into the Big Pinwheel Garden yesterday to mark Child Abuse Prevention Month and promote the pinwheel as the symbol for healthy starts for all children. Charles was joined by Manhattan magazine’s Cristina Cuomo and over 200 volunteers, holding nearly 5,000 pinwheels to create the display.

"I hope to be a father someday soon, and I feel strongly that living an innocent, care-free life isn't a right for just SOME children. It's the right for ALL children, regardless of the neighborhood they grow up in – or their socio-economic status," said Charles. "I care about the welfare of the next generation. Children are the artists, the politicians, the engineers, the doctors, the scientists of tomorrow, and I want to see ALL of them have the chance to lead full, productive, and safe lives."

The Times Square Big Pinwheel Garden is one of many such activities taking place across the country throughout April's Child Abuse Prevention Month, and is the signature event of the organization’s Pinwheels for Prevention® campaign, through which Prevent Child Abuse America has distributed more than 3.5 million pinwheels nationwide since April 2008.

“According to UNICEF, the U.S. ranks poorly in children’s issues, including being 32nd out of 34 industrialized nations in terms of child poverty and 26th out of 29 in terms of overall well-being. Realities like these should serve as a wake-up call and that we can and must do better,” said Jim Hmurovich, President & CEO of Prevent Child Abuse America. “Pinwheel gardens are calls-to-action, some as simple as to provide the personal attention to families and children that each of us, from time to time, have needed ourselves. The pinwheels remind us that our nation does not have a national strategy to promote the healthy development of each child, regardless of their circumstances. This must change and our call to action must be to change our personal behavior, attitudes and social norms to value children; all children.”

To support Prevent Child Abuse America's efforts, the public can:

• Help a neighbor in need by offering to baby-sit or give parents a break
• Volunteer for your Prevent Child Abuse America state chapter or another child-serving agency
• Donate at www.pinwheelsforprevention.org/give
• Donate $10 by texting PINWHEEL to 20222* (powered by www.givebycell.com)

 

 

 

Prevent Child Abuse America teams with actor Josh Charles to turn Tims Square into Big Pinwheel Garden on April 8

 

Prevent Child Abuse America teams with actor Josh Charles to turn Times Square into Big Pinwheel Garden on April 8

NYC event headlines month-long series of activities nationwide calling people to action in support of healthy starts for kids throughout April's Child Abuse Prevention Month

APRIL 7, 2014 (NEW YORK, NY) – Prevent Child Abuse America and actor Josh Charles from the Emmy-nominated CBS show, The Good Wife, will turn New York City’s iconic Times Square into a "Big Pinwheel Garden" on Tuesday, April 8, at 9:00 a.m. ET with hundreds of supporters creating a display of more than 5,000 pinwheels – the national symbol for child abuse prevention. The event calls for people to take action in support of healthy child development as the nation marks April as Child Abuse Prevention Month. This will be the signature event of the Pinwheels for Prevention® campaign, through which Prevent Child Abuse America has distributed more than 3.5 million pinwheels nationwide since the campaign’s launch in April 2008.

“We all want healthy starts for our nation’s children; yet we know that various adversities like poverty, child abuse, domestic violence and substance abuse can sometimes get in the way,” said Charles. “But we can all play a role in taking the time to do what we can, to provide every child with the opportunity to have an even playing field as they start their lives. I’m a good example. I’m not a parent but hope to be in the future and very much want to see all children have the opportunity to lead full, productive lives.”

Charles will be joined at the event by Cristina Cuomo, Editor-in-Chief of Manhattan magazine, who will host the proceedings. Key organizational partners such as Manhattan magazine, Kappa Delta, Sigma Delta Tau and the General Federation of Women’s Clubs are lending support.

To support the campaign, the public can:

• Help a neighbor in need by offering to baby-sit or give parents a break
• Volunteer for your Prevent Child Abuse America state chapter or another child- or family- serving agency
• Donate at www.pinwheelsforprevention.org/give
• Donate $10 by texting PINWHEEL to 20222* (powered by www.givebycell.com)

“According to UNICEF, the U.S. ranks poorly in children’s issues, including being 32nd out of 34 industrialized nations in terms of child poverty and 26th out of 29 in terms of overall well-being. Realities like these should serve as a wake-up call and that we can and must do better,” said Jim Hmurovich, President & CEO of Prevent Child Abuse America. “Pinwheel gardens are calls-to-action, some as simple as to provide the personal attention to families and children that each of us, from time to time, have needed ourselves. The pinwheels remind us that our nation does not have a national strategy to promote the healthy development of each child, regardless of their circumstances. This must change and our call to action must be to change our personal behavior, attitudes and social norms to value children; all children.”

In addition to the New York City event on Tuesday, April 8, the organization will host another Big Pinwheel Garden in Chicago on Wednesday, April 16, at Navy Pier, and Prevent Child Abuse America state chapters will conduct pinwheels-focused events throughout April, including a pinwheel garden event hosted by Nebraska’s First Lady in downtown Lincoln, NE; a “pinwheel garden” of 1,000 pinwheels in Indianapolis (each representing 87 healthy births for the 87,000 children born annually in Indiana); and pinwheel rallies at state capitals around the country.

 

 

 

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