To raise a communitywide awareness about child abuse, a partnership of concerned Grandparents and Others United for Positive Changes will sponsor a month-long series of events, beginning with their annual “Hands Around the Courthouse” event Wednesday, April 6.
Beginning at 12:15 p.m., participants will surround the Clinton County courthouse, holding a blue ribbon (blue is for bruises) signifying that it takes the whole community working together to help prevent children from being neglected and abused.
According to a report published by the Iowa Department of Human Services, there were 292 confirmed cases of child abuse received from Clinton County in 2010. Of those, 151 were children 0-5 years old and 141 were children 6-17 years old.
The event at the courthouse will begin with a proclamation for Child Abuse Prevention Month, read by Gwen Deming, coordinator of Community Partnerships for Protecting Children in Clinton, Jackson and Dubuque Counties.
Other speakers will be a juvenile court judge, the superintendent of Clinton schools, a representative from the sheriff’s department, and a local pastor.
The program will be followed by a light lunch.
A Children’s Flag will be flown on Riverview Drive at Fifth Avenue South and pinwheels and blue ribbons will be displayed to raise awareness that childhood “Should be a Breeze.”
The day will continue with a fundraiser at Arby’s, 2595 Lincolnway from 5-8 p.m. A second benefit event will be held there April 13.
During the PTA convention at Bluff Elementary School April 9, Amber Russell of PCA Iowa will speak on “Child Abuse Prevention: What is it and how do I talk about it?” at 1:30, 2:30 and 3:50 p.m.
“Darkness to Light: Sexual Abuse Prevention Training” will be presented at Gil’s Ballroom, 2620 Manufacturing Drive, at 8 a.m. April 19.
Finally, PCACC Night will be observed at the LumberKings game April 19.