FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2016
Contact: Jon Ebelt, Public Information Officer, DPHHS, (406) 444-0936
Lona Carter-Scanlon, Principal, Jefferson Elementary School, (406)324-2063
Pinwheels for Prevention Parade scheduled for Friday, April 8 in Helena
Jefferson Elementary School teachers and students join forces with the MT Children’s Trust Fund to raise awareness about the importance of strong families to prevent child abuse and neglect
Parents, volunteers and about 300 Jefferson Elementary School teachers and children will parade to the Capitol on Friday, April 8 at 10:30 a.m. in a sea of blue attire and waving blue pinwheels to deliver one message: Strong families are the key to Montana’s future.
The event is being held in conjunction with various other National Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month activities taking place statewide in April.
The Pinwheels for Prevention Parade will begin at Jefferson Elementary School and end at the Capitol. Blue Cross Blue Shield’s Blue Bear will parade with the students, and Big Sky UAV will film aerial footage.
“Montana can lead the nation in reducing child abuse,” Jefferson Elementary School Principal Lona Carter-Scanlon said. “Focusing on prevention, we can make a difference for Montana’s children. In Montana, we pull together to find solutions by working together to raise awareness. Jefferson Elementary School is excited to participate in raising awareness about Child Abuse Prevention, and getting our students thinking about what a strong family means to them.”
Jefferson Elementary School students have also created blue pinwheel artwork that will be displayed in the Capitol halls and the Secretary of State’s office through the end of April.
Pinwheels for Prevention is a national public awareness campaign built around the symbol of the pinwheel, which represents a happy and uplifting symbol of childhood and conveys the message that every child deserves the chance to be raised in a healthy, safe, and nurturing environment.
In Helena, thousands of blue pinwheels will been planted on the Capitol’s front lawn by CTF and BCBSMT volunteers.
Year round, the CTF encourages all individuals and organizations to play a role in making Montana a better place for children and families. “By ensuring that parents have the knowledge, skills, and resources they need to care for their children, we can help foster stronger families in Montana,” CTF Grant Manager, Jamey Petersen said.
In SFY 2015, DPHHS completed over 8,900 investigations of child abuse and neglect involving nearly 13,000 children. The number of children in foster care continues to climb. As of March 2016 there were 3,126 Montana children in foster care, the highest number of kids in care over the past 16 years.
WHAT: Pinwheels for Prevention Parade, an event to promote Strong Families, Safe kids and the prevention of child abuse and neglect in Montana.
WHO: All Jefferson Elementary students, teachers, and staff
WHERE: The parade begins at Jefferson Elementary School and concludes at the Capitol.
WHEN: Friday, April 8. The parade begins 10:30 a.m. at Jefferson Elementary School.
About the Montana Children’s Trust Fund
This month and throughout the year, the Montana Children’s Trust Fund encourages all individuals and organizations to play a role in making Montana a better place for children and families. By ensuring that parents have the knowledge, skills, and resources they need to care for their children, we can help promote children’s social and emotional well-being and prevent child maltreatment within families and communities.
Created by the Montana Legislature in 1985, the Montana Children’s Trust Fund works to reduce and ultimately eliminating maltreatment of Montana children. The trust fund provides financial support to local programs across the state to prevent child abuse and neglect and strengthen families. For more information about the Montana Children’s Trust Fund contact Jamey Petersen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 444-3002.