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Pinwheel Gardens and Blue Ribbon Trees bring awareness to child abuse

Pinwheel Gardens and Blue Ribbon Trees raise awareness for child abuse

Aidan Cole who attends the school age program at the Prairies Youth Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, holds up two blue pinwheels in recognition of the Child Abuse Prevention initiative, April 26, 2018. The federal government has designated April as the National Child Abuse Prevention month and the pinwheel is its recognizable national symbol. (U.S. Air Force photo by Al Bright)

Pinwheel Gardens and Blue Ribbon Trees raise awareness for child abuse

Beverley Knight-Stukenborg, 88th Medical Group family advocacy outreach manager talks to the children at the Prairies Child Development Center school age program on how to recognize child abuse and handing them blue pinwheels at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, April 26, 2018. The federal government has designated April as the National Child Abuse Prevention month and the pinwheel is its recognizable national symbol. (U.S. Air Force photo by Al Bright)

Pinwheel Gardens and Blue Ribbon Trees raise awareness for child abuse

1st Lieutenant David Parks, 88th Medical Group Family Advocacy Program office resident, helps six year old Trey Newton, who attends the school age program at the Prairies Youth Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, plant a blue pinwheel at the youth center in recognition of Child Abuse Prevention month, April 26, 2018. The federal government has designated April as the National Child Abuse Prevention month and the pinwheel is its recognizable national symbol. (U.S. Air Force photo by Al Bright)

Pinwheel Gardens and Blue Ribbon Trees raise awareness for child abuse

Pinwheels catch the breeze in a garden outside the Wright Field South Child Development Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, April 13, 2018. Pinwheels are a symbolic reminder of WPAFB commitment to keep children safe from abuse and neglect. (U.S. Air Force photo by Michelle Gigante)

Pinwheel Gardens and Blue Ribbon Trees raise awareness for child abuse

Carter Wallace and Nadia Wooten who attend the school age program at the Prairies Youth Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, place a blue pinwheel into the ground at the center in recognition of the Child Abuse Prevention initiative, April 26, 2018. The federal government has designated April as the National Child Abuse Prevention month and the blue pinwheel is its recognizable national symbol. (U.S. Air Force photo by Al Bright)

Pinwheel Gardens and Blue Ribbon Trees raise awareness for child abuse

Registered nurses Ivette Diaz (left) and Mary Jane Fous show off their Blue Ribbon Tree in the Medical Center’s Pediatric clinic on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, April 18, 2018. April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month and activities were held on the base throughout the month to raise awareness about child abuse and to highlight ways to prevent it. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jim Varhegyi)

Pinwheel Gardens and Blue Ribbon Trees raise awareness for child abuse

Registered nurses Ivette Diaz (left) and Mary Jane Fous created a Blue Ribbon Tree in the Medical Center’s Pediatric clinic on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, April 18, 2018. April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month and activities were held on the base throughout the month to raise awareness about child abuse and to highlight ways to prevent it. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jim Varhegyi)

Pinwheel Gardens and Blue Ribbon Trees raise awareness for child abuse

A student gets help placing her hand-print on to a child abuse prevention banner, inside the classroom of Wright Field Child Development Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, April 13, 2018. The month of April marks child abuse prevention month, by honoring the mentors, teachers and parents who have a positive impact in a child’s life. (U.S. Air Force photo by Michelle Gigante)

Pinwheel Gardens and Blue Ribbon Trees raise awareness for child abuse

Four-year old Aubrey Orr and her mom U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Holli Wood plant a blue pinwheel in a Pinwheel Garden at one of the Child Development Center’s on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, April 18, 2018. April is National Child Abuse Prevention month and the blue pinwheel is its recognizable national symbol. Activities were held on the base throughout the month to raise awareness about child abuse and to highlight ways to prevent it. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jim Varhegyi)

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – Under the theme “Strong Communities Strengthen Families” the Wright-Patt Family Advocacy program hosted a number of activities recently throughout the base to foster awareness during National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Since 1983, April has been designated the month to bring child abuse and neglect to the forefront to foster programs aimed at educating the community about warning signs, and to provide helpful resources and reinforce the notion that community members share the responsibility for the safety, protection and well-being of its children.

Within the military community the Family Advocacy Program serves to strengthen families and promote parenting skills and resilience.

Military families are less likely to be impacted by abuse risk factors such as poverty, unemployment or limited access to health care. But, they do face other challenges such as frequent moves and extended family separations that may increase parenting stress, according to the Military Community and Family Policy office.

Predominantly, child abuse among military families stems from child neglect related to lack of supervision, or exposure to physical hazards.

Throughout the month on Wright-Patt Pinwheel Gardens were planted all over the base, a Prevention Walk was held, a Blue Ribbon Tree contest was held, and workshops were available to promote healthy relationships.

“The blue ribbon is the international sign for child abuse prevention and serves as a constant reminder that we all have a responsibility to help keep children safe,” said Beverly Knight-Stukenborg, Wright-Patt’s Family Advocacy outreach manager.

“We invited all of our base organizations to take action for children by building a Blue Ribbon Tree in their work centers during the month. We offered some suggestions for hanging ribbons on their trees to represent things such as the confirmed number of abused or neglected children in their county, the number of newborn babies in their community, or to show community support for children in general,” she added.

In 2008, Prevent Child Abuse America introduced the pinwheel as the national symbol for child abuse prevention. Their research showed that people respond to pinwheels, and that they represent whimsy and childlike notions.

“All of the Child Development Centers on the installation, the Youth Center and the Wright-Patt Medical Center planted Pin Wheel for Prevention Gardens. At the CDCs we talked to the kids about ways to recognize child abuse as they planted their gardens,” said Knight-Stukenborg.