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April strengthen children and families


April 5, 2016

Contact:  Jon Ebelt, Public Information Officer, DPHHS, (406) 444-0936

               Chuck Council, Communications Specialist, DPHHS, (406) 444-4391


April marks month of awareness to strengthen children and families


April is a month of awareness for many organizations to focus on strengthening families, keeping children safe, and making communities strong. This year, organizations are collaborating to ensure that more Montana families are reached. Organizations working together to strengthen Montana families include: Montana Children’s Trust Fund, Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) Child and Family Services Division, No Kid Hungry, National Guard, Malmstrom Air Force Base, and Best Beginnings Councils throughout Montana.

Organizations collaborating on activities in the month of April include:


·         Montana Children’s Trust Fund (CTF): Child Abuse Prevention Month
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. The CTF will be planting thousands of blue pinwheels around the Capitol, as well as, turning the dome of the Capitol blue, during the week of April 10-18. CTF funds 16 programs throughout the state that all will be doing activities in April. Visit childrenstrust.mt.gov to find out more about what is going on in those communities.


·         Fight Childhood Hunger Week: Governor’s Office of Community Service, Montana No Kid Hungry
Twenty middle and high school students across Montana serve on the Governor and First Lady Youth Leadership Council.  Students will implement projects to address childhood hunger during Fight Childhood Hunger Week, April 11-17, 2016. For a list of projects, visit fightchildhoodhunger.com. As part of the Fight Childhood Hunger Week activities and on April 13th, Montana No Kid Hungry will hold Wear Orange Wednesday to raise awareness about childhood hunger in Montana. For more information, visit mt.nokidhungry.org.


·         DPHHS Child and Family Services Division, Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect Conference

DPHHS will host the annual Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect Conference April 19-21 in Missoula. The event brings together hundreds of foster/adoptive parents, CFSD staff, tribal social services staff, county attorneys, judges, counselors, attorney’s and teachers for three days of training and breakout sessions. The event also honors licensed foster parents, youth in foster care, child advocates and Court Appointed Special Advocates.


·         Month of the Military Child
April is Month of the Military Child. Montana has over 6,800 military kids, one in every county. The 2016 theme: "Their Journeys and Adventures" recognizes that military children often lead a more stressful journey than their peers. As part of the Month of the Military Child, the National Guard Child & Youth Program and Malmstrom AFB will host many events and Purple Up Day April 15th is designed to show support of military youth.  Visit montanaguardfamily.org for more information.


·         Montana Association for the Education of Young Children: Week of the Young Child
The Week of the Young Child is an annual celebration sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children celebrating early learning, young children, their teachers and families. Each Community in Montana celebrates in different ways.  In the Helena area, the focus is on literacy by having several reading events, including at the Capitol Rotunda. There, free books will be given to 2000 preschool age children. Visit mtaeyc.org for more information.

Here is a complete list of activities:
April 1-30:
Certificates of Appreciation from the MT National Guard Adjutant General available

April 8: Pinwheels for Prevention Parade - Capitol, Helena
April 9: Month of the Military Child Ball - Great Falls
April 10-18: Pinwheels for Prevention – pinwheels will be ‘planted’ on the Capitol lawn
April 11-16: Fight Childhood Hunger Week- projects/events held in many communities across MT
April 12: Reading and Resources in Rotunda - Capitol Rotunda
April 13: Wear Orange Wednesday, statewide
April 13: Family Game Night and Karaoke- Malmstrom Air force Base
April 15: Purple Up Day, statewide

April 19-21: Montana Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect Conference
April 23: Family Bingo - Malmstom Air Force Base
April 23: Month of the Military Child Ball: Fort Harrison

Want to get involved in April activities in your community? Visit the websites listed above for more information or contact Kami Kirchberg at (406)444-5915 / kkirchberg@mt.gov