Pictured, from left, are Buckhannon mayor Robbie Skinner; Tanya Kittle with Appalachian Mental Health; Anne Chopyak, a volunteer with Upshur County Family Resource Network; Harvey; Laura Foulks; Addie Helmick; and Ginny Dixon.

Do you know why pinwheels are used to represent Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month?

BUCKHANNON – The City of Buckhannon proclaimed April as Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month, and a local advocate for children took the opportunity to explain what pinwheels symbolize.

Lori Ulderich Harvey, executive director of the Upshur County Family Resource Network, presented the proclamation at Buckhannon City Hall Tuesday, April 6 and explained the significance of the pinwheels that will be displayed around town.

“The pinwheels are a national symbol, and they’re used because a pinwheel is a symbol of a happier time and of a childhood,” Harvey said. “Even if you hand them to adults nowadays, they light up. When you see a pinwheel it’s just a happy thing, so they decided to take that as the symbol for National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and it’s just to raise awareness and help educate our communities as to what child abuse is, and how we can stop it and how anybody can help a child.”

Part of the proclamation appears below:

“Whereas, during child abuse and neglect prevention month, it is important to talk about what each and every one of us can to make sure that children in our community grow up healthy, safe and loved;

Whereas Child Abuse and Neglect is a symptom of a larger problem, the lack of resources and support for families in our community and the majority of child abuse cases stemmed from situations and conditions that are preventable in an engaged and supportive community;

Whereas, when the well-being of children and families becomes the priority of everyone in the community, the number of child abuse and neglect cases will decrease and other good things will happen, such as better health outcomes and improved school performances;

Whereas Child Abuse and Neglect can be reduced by making sure each family has the support they need to raise their children in a healthy environment;

Whereas this month it is important that every member of our community, consider what they can do to improve our collective well-being, which can be achieved by volunteering, making donations or advocating for family friendly policies and programs. Everyone can take their turn, making a difference;

Whereas Child Abuse Prevention Month is an especially good time to talk about the five protective factors (Knowledge of parenting and child development, parental resilience, social connections, social and emotional development of children and concrete support in times of need) and how, when present they increase the health and well-being of children and families.”

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