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Planting Pinwheels for Child Abuse Prevention Awareness

Nationally recognized, April is Child Abuse Prevention and Sexual Assault Awareness month.

This content was originally published by the Longmont Observer and is licensed under a Creative Commons license.

Nationally recognized, April is Child Abuse Prevention and Sexual Assault Awareness month.

In order to raise awareness, pinwheel gardens are planted across the nation.

Police Explorers plant pinwheel garden (Photo by Rick Brennan/ Longmont Observer)

This year, the Longmont and Boulder City Police Explorers partnered with Blue Sky Bridge, a nonprofit child advocacy center, to plant around 150 pinwheels in the pinwheel garden at Roosevelt Park on April 2.

The Police Explorers groups are a youth group interested law enforcement. Projects such as Project Pinwheel offer groups like these a chance to give back to their community by participating in topics that may be affecting their peers.

The pinwheel is a nationally recognized symbol for child abuse prevention. Planting pinwheels is an initiative organized by Project Pinwheel and "is led by Blue Sky Bridge and includes a committed team of law enforcement, human services, and other agencies working together to reduce child sexual abuse in our community," according to Melissa Santorelli, Development & Communications Associate for Blue Sky Bridge.

Both the Boulder City and Longmont Police Departments are a part of the Project Pinwheel initiative. Each department has its own pinwheel garden at their respective locations. "Each garden includes a sign with facts and information regarding the prevalence of child abuse:

  • 1 in 10 children will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday. Sadly, for each child that comes forward, 9 more suffer in silence.
  • 300 children come to Blue Sky Bridge each year to share their stories of abuse

The pinwheel garden located in Roosevelt Park is one of 15 larger gardens planted to educate the community on the topic of child abuse prevention.

"Child abuse is a widespread issue throughout Colorado, and can affect families regardless of socio-economic status, age, race, or gender. Community education and collaboration are some of the most powerful tools able to disrupt or prevent child abuse. We are committed to helping children learn how to keep their bodies safe and helping adults learn how to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. Partnering with youth serving organizations is one way that we are able to accomplish these commitments," says Santorelli.

In addition to raising awareness through pinwheel gardens, Blue Sky Bridge is offering training sessions for parents, teachers and youth services organizations. Those events include:

  • Darkness to Light’s Stewards of Children®
    • Thursday, April 11th, 10 am – noon: Lafayette Public Library, 775 Baseline Road.
    • Monday, April 15th, 12-2 pm: Pavilion Building Conference Room, 500 Coffman Street in Longmont
    • Tuesday, April 30th, 11 am – 1 pm: Blue Sky Bridge in Boulder
  • Nurturing Healthy Sexual Development
    Friday, April 12th, 12 -2:30 pm

Community members can register by following this link.

Wibby Brewing and Blue Sky Bridge are teaming up for a Happy Hour event to support Child Abuse Prevention month. The event is Thursday, April 25 from 5-9 p.m.