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March 16, 2020 April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

Jacey Wanner, Parent Educator

Each April for National Child Abuse Prevention Month, we have the opportunity to promote healthy child development while raising awareness to prevent child abuse.

Prevent Child Abuse North Dakota (PCAND) has announced that this year’s campaign theme will be: “Everyone Can Make Great Childhoods Happen - Especially You!” Prevent Child Abuse North Dakota is passionate about having people understand that they can use their own talents and their normal daily tasks to impact a child and community positively.

“April is time to help people across the country understand that safe, stable and nurturing relationships and environments are necessary to ensure that children grow up happy and healthy,” explained Jennifer Boub, PCAND project manager. “People don’t need to have special skills or be a certain kind of person to help make great childhoods happen; all they have to be is willing.”

So what can you do, not just this April, but January through December to support children, parents and communities while using your talents?

  • Do you love to cook? Bring a meal to a mom and dad with a new baby. They can use the time they normally would spend cooking by playing with their new baby or participating in some needed self-care.
  • Do you love to do art? Volunteer at an after-school program and plan a new art project for the kids. Encourage the children to use their imaginations and creativity.
  • Do you love to garden? Start a gardening club in your community and teach the children about responsibility and sustainability.
  • Do you love sports? Volunteer as a coach and teach kids the value of hard work and perseverance, as well as the skills of the game.

This year, Wear Blue Day is on Friday, April 3. We encourage businesses, schools, day care facilities and families to “paint the town blue.” Ways to celebrate Wear Blue Day:

  • Wear blue and take a photo; post it to social media with the hashtags #wearblueND and #greatchildhoods
  • Plan a blue meal. Do you have blue cups and plates you can use? Have some blueberries, nachos using blue tortilla chips, blue potatoes or blue smoothie.
  • Enjoy the BLUE sky by going for a walk and having a contest to see how many blue items you can find.
  • Go swimming in the blue water.

Lastly, think about the people who made your childhood great and reach out and thank them, even if you haven’t talked to them in a long time (the glories of social media). Thank the people you see working with the youth in your community and tell them what a difference they make.

I would love to hear about the members of your community who help make childhoods great. Email me at jacey.p.wanner@ndsu.edu.

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