Pinwheel event recognizes community role in preventing child abuse

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LACASA Center’s CAP (Child Abuse Prevention) Council will host its annual “Plant a Pinwheel Celebration” event Wednesday, April 5, 2017, to launch National Child Abuse Prevention Month in Livingston County.

Members of the community are invited to help plant a pinwheel garden during a special ceremony that will take place at noon on the front lawn of the Howell Carnegie Library, located at 314 W. Grand River Ave., in downtown Howell.

The Pinwheel Celebration will feature several guests, including Howell Mayor Nick Proctor, who will read a formal proclamation naming April 5, 2017, as “Plant a Pinwheel Day” in Howell. Music will be performed by the Voices of Voyager Choir from Voyager Elementary School in Howell. Speakers will include Michigan Children’s Trust Fund Board member and Bikers Against Child Abuse member Willie Dubas; Livingston County Prosecutor Bill Vailliencourt; and LACASA President and CEO Bobette Schrandt.

LACASA Center offers comprehensive services for victims of child abuse, domestic violence and sexual assault. The CAP Council provides community-wide awareness and education programs that help prevent child abuse and child sexual abuse.

The pinwheel was selected nine years ago by Prevent Child Abuse America (PCA) to serve as the national symbol for the Pinwheels for Prevention child abuse prevention campaign. It is a happy, carefree symbol that reminds us that all children deserve a great childhood.

Pinwheels on display at the library and other locations will remain in place throughout April as a month-long reminder about the importance of preventing abuse and neglect before they occur so children can grow up safe, healthy and whole.

Like LACASA’s CAP Council, other designated local councils of the Michigan Children’s Trust Fund, a state partner of PCA, will plant gardens across Michigan at the beginning of April. Pinwheel garden initiatives will take place across the nation this month.

“We planted 66 community pinwheel gardens in Livingston County last year,” said Holly Naylor, the CAP Council coordinator. “We are hoping to reach 100 community gardens this year. We hope that the pinwheel gardens will spark countless conversations about how we as a community can help to prevent child abuse and neglect.”

Partners hosting gardens will include public schools in each of the county’s five school districts and the Livingston Educational Service Agency. In addition, local businesses, chambers of commerce, government agencies, faith communities, and libraries are joining the pinwheel partnership.

“This campaign is all about awareness, and about the Power of One,” said Naylor. “One person, one action, one dollar can all work together. We really can improve the lives of children right here in our community if we work together.”

In addition to the goal of 100 community pinwheel gardens, LACASA’s CAP Council will be introducing a “Home Pinwheel Garden Kit” that can be pre-ordered for the 2018 Pinwheels for Prevention campaign. The home kits will expand the campaign into neighborhoods, and will also be a fundraiser for the CAP Council.

For questions about LACASA’s Plant a Pinwheel Celebration, the national Pinwheels for Prevention campaign, CAP Council programs; or for any Livingston County residents who would like to sign up for a 2018 Home Pinwheel Garden Kit, contact the CAP Council at or call 517-548-1350, ext 248.

How You Can Help

LACASA’s CAP Council encourages local residents to get involved in efforts to ensure the safety and well-being of Livingston County Children. The following tips from PCA’s “Pinwheels for Prevention” campaign are easy for everyone to implement:

Be a friend to a parent you know. Ask how their children are doing. Draw on your own experiences to provide reassurance and support. If a parent seems to be struggling, offer to babysit or run errands, or just lend a friendly ear. Show you understand.

Be a friend to a child you know. Remember their names. Smile when you talk with them. Ask them about their day at school. Send them a card in the mail. Show you care.

Talk to your neighbors about looking out for one another’s children. Encourage a supportive spirit among parents in your apartment building or on your block. Show that you are involved.

Give your used clothing, furniture and toys for use by another family. This can help relieve the stress of financial burdens that parents sometimes take out on their kids.

Volunteer your time and money for programs in your community that support children and families.

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