Keiki march seeks child abuse awareness, prevention

| April 8, 2016 | 1 Comment
Children prepare to march around the Bowen Child Development Center March 30 with blue pinwheels in support Child Abuse Prevention Month. Pinwheels for child abuse prevention are also on display in front of the Army Community Services office and at the Hawaii State Capitol. Below: A child looks for a place to stake her pinwheel after the parade at the Bowen CDC.

Children prepare to march around the Bowen Child Development Center March 30 with blue pinwheels in support Child Abuse Prevention Month. Pinwheels for child abuse prevention are also on display in front of the Army Community Services office and at the Hawaii State Capitol.

Story and photos by
Christine Cabalo
Staff Writer
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Dressed up in blue clothing, children and adults pledged to fight child abuse and helped proclaim April as Child Abuse Prevention Month during a parade held March 30.

Parade marchers traveled around the front of Bowen Child Development Center, with children traveling on foot or in strollers.

A child looks for a place to stake her pinwheel after the parade at the Bowen CDC.

A child looks for a place to stake her pinwheel after the parade at the Bowen CDC.

Each held a blue and silver pinwheel, the official symbol supporting victims of child abuse. Musicians with the 25th Infantry Division Band played marches while supporters with pinwheels cheered on.

Leonard Housley, deputy garrison commander, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii, signed the official proclamation designating April as Child Abuse Prevention Month. He and staff with the Family Advocacy Program spoke about the need to speak out against child abuse.

“For the family members and community partners who are in attendance today, let me express my deep gratitude for your support and willingness to raise awareness for child abuse prevention in your community,” said Cindy Morita, manager for the Family Advocacy Program for U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii.

“I would like to extend a special thank you to the Bowen Child Development Center for hosting the event, and a great appreciation to the Directorate of Emergency Services, the Federal Fire Department and the Honolulu Police Department for joining us today.”

Firefighters with Federal Fire Department rolled out their fire truck and sounded the alarms before dozens of children started to march around the center. Both HPD and MPD held awareness signs as they marched, while adult caregivers helped the children maneuver the center’s parking lot.

“This is invaluable, getting support of garrison command and Schofield Barracks,” said Kalani Mills, Family Advocacy Program chief at Tripler Army Medical Center. “It takes a community effort to prevent child neglect or abuse. We’re grateful for opportunity to host this event.”

The colorful event included members of Army Community Services wearing special blue T-shirts against child abuse and carrying blue balloons for children. Brianne Williams, a preschool teacher with the U.S. Army Child, Youth and School Services, had her class do a wearable art project for the event. Her students traced their handprints on blue paper and then attached the cutout handprints to a headband.

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Deputy Garrison Commander Len Housley addresses the gathering before the official proclamation signing.

Deputy Garrison Commander Len Housley addresses the gathering before the official proclamation signing.

Supporters, parents, staffers and other participants blew bubbles or waved to the group as the parade moved around the center. With pinwheels blowing in the breeze, the children ended the parade by planting the toy into the ground in front of the center.

Mills said the event helps bring awareness, and if anyone suspects child abuse occurring to call the Family Advocacy Program and the Military Police Department.

“Being in the Army can be stressful on a service member and the service member’s family,” Mills said. “At Schofield Barracks we are a family, and we need to look out for each other.”

Resources
If you suspect there is an immediate danger for child abuse, call 911. Otherwise there are several hotlines that can offer support and guidance:

Family Advocacy Program: 655-4227
Fort Shafter Military Police Department: 438-7114
Schofield Barracks Military Police Department: 655-7114

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Category: Community, Education, Observances

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  1. Earl Richards says:

    See, http://www.nospank.net. It should be against the law for adults to hit small children.

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