LACASA’s Child Abuse Prevention (CAP) Council named Brighton High School principal Gavin Johnson its 2019 Champion for Children Award recipient during the group’s recent “Plant a Pinwheel Celebration” at the Howell Carnegie Library for the encouragement, support and guidance he provides for the students and families.
The Champion for Children award is a joint effort between the CAP Council and the Great Start Collaborative of Livingston County to recognize outstanding individuals who devote significant time and energy to helping children in Livingston County.
Johnson’s nomination was accompanied by letters from the Brighton High School leadership class. His nomination stood out to the selection committee due to the consistent message from all of the students, which conveyed that Johnson takes the time to get to know and listen to teens, and has created an atmosphere where students see him as a consistent source of guidance and support, not as a rule enforcer or person to fear.
One student stated that Johnson “has always been the guy to turn to when the going gets tough. He is there for you when times are low and he is also there to keep you level when things are going good.”
Another student shared that “I’ve seen him sit with kids for hours in his office trying to get to the bottom of what is going wrong in their life and finding ways to make their life easier. He sees potential in every kid and makes sure to let them and their parents know he recognizes their success.”
“Our children and our young adults know when we are listening,” said Holly Naylor, LACASA’s CAP Council coordinator. “They know when we really care and when we are just going through the motions. In those moments of interaction is when we truly see the Power of One — one individual, and one interaction repeated over and over, creates a life-changing influence. Gavin Johnson has this kind of influence. This is why we selected him as the 2019 Champion for Children.
“Many of us think of child abuse prevention as being only direct intervention, or working with high-risk families, or donating time or money to organizations such as the CAP Council.. But child abuse prevention can take many forms, including being the positive role model and consistent support person for a child or young adult.”
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, which is when CAP launches its annual Pinwheels for Prevention Campaign in Livingston County and hosts the Plant a Pinwheel Celebration.