Pinwheels show work that remains in preventing child abuse

Apr. 02, 2014 @ 07:20 PM

The Franklin-Vance-Warren Opportunity Inc. lawn is covered in blue and silver once again, a reminder of the work that remains in child abuse prevention.

For the fourth year, a human chain guarded the road as 18 children from the organization’s Family Resource Center and Head Start program planted 516 pinwheels recognizing Child Abuse Prevention Month. The pinwheels represented the number of children served by the organizations in 2013.

“Numbers on a page are one thing,” Director of Family Resources & Special Projects Jennifer Gregory said. “This is a tangible reminder of what we do every day.”

Child advocacy groups and leaders of the community got involved, stabbing the ground with wooden sticks as the 3-, 4- and 5-year-olds then planted the pinwheels.

“It’s good to see us unite and let kids plant the garden,” Franklin-Vance-Warren grant accountant Geraldine Collins said. “Kids should be able to be safe and play in a safe environment. This is symbolic of what every childhood should be.”

Mayor Pete O’Geary didn’t participate in an official capacity because of his recent heart surgery, but he did attend the ceremony.

“It seems like yesterday we were here doing the same thing, now we are back,” O’Geary said. “All of you that work here thank you so much. Thank you for what you do here.”

Vance County Commissioner Deborah Brown attended the event for the second year and said child abuse prevention is an issue that needs to be spotlighted.

“I look at these young faces and it reminds me that I was that age once,” said Brown, whose mother was a Head Start teacher. “I applaud you all for continuing this.”

Franklin-Vance-Warren Opportunity staff said they were proud of the turnout and participation from the community.

“I think this was a wonderful event to show children the love and support they have not only from their classes, but from the whole city,” Henderson city councilwoman and Franklin-Vance-Warren Opportunity Board of Directors Chairwoman Sara Coffey said.

 

Contact the writer at dhairston@hendersondispatch.com.