The pinwheels in front of the Wetzel County Courthouse and Wetzel County Center for Children and Families aren't just festive decorations. They are known as "Pinwheels for Prevention" and are a childlike toy to make people aware of the issue of child abuse in our community.
The pinwheel represents Prevent Child Abuse America's efforts to change the way our nation thinks about prevention, focusing on community activities and public policies that prioritize prevention right from the start to make sure child abuse and neglect never occur.
Each pinwheel in front of the courthouse represents one investigated case of child abuse in Wetzel County for the year 2011. There are 156 pinwheels at that location. Nationwide, nearly 900,000 pinwheels have been displayed since April 2008.
"Please take a few moments and notice the pinwheels in front of the Wetzel County Courthouse on Main Street," asked Theresa Hoskins, Wetzel County Family Resource Network Coordinator.
Across the country, April is recognized as Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month. State and local agencies and concerned citizens work toward the common purpose of preventing child abuse and deliver a powerful, collective message about the importance of protecting children, supporting families, and strengthening communities.
Children are West Virginia's greatest natural resource and the future of the state depends on our ability to enhance the healthy growth and development of all of our children. "Our children are our future leaders, teachers, doctors, social workers, legislators and parents, and the experiences they have in childhood form the foundations upon which all future development is built," said Marsha Croasmun, WCCCF coordinator. Research says that children are shaped by the people, experiences, and environments in which they live. Children need good health, supportive families, and positive early learning experiences that help them explore their world. When this healthy development does not occur, there is greater potential for children to experience lifelong consequences including health and mental health issues, substance abuse, delinquent and criminal behavior, and academic under-achievement.
"The good news is that we can help our children and help parents be the best parents that they can be," said Croasmun. Prevent Child Abuse West Virginia works to support communities in their important efforts by providing information, materials, assistance, and message guidance. All of these materials are available at the Wetzel County Center for Children and Families. Contact Croasmun for any question at 304-455-2468. For more information about Prevent Child Abuse West Virginia go to www.preventchildabusewv.org.
The Wetzel County Family Resource Network projects are presented with financial assistance as a grant from the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources. For additional information contact Hoskins at the FRN Office at 304-771-8533.