Saturday, April 7, 2018

YCPO - April 2018

Good Morning fellow Kiwanians!

According to data from the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS), 49 States reported a total of 1,585 fatalities.
Nationally it is estimated 1,670 children died from abuse or neglect in 2015, which is 5.7 percent more than in 2011. This translates to a rate of 2.25 children per 100,000 children in the general population and an average of nearly five children dying every day from abuse or neglect

Three-quarters (74.8 percent) of child fatalities in 2015 involved children younger than 3 years, and children younger than 1 year accounted for 49.4 percent of all fatalities. 

 In 80% of child abuse and neglect cases, the alleged abusers are overwhelmed, stressed parents who took their frustrations out on their own children; in other cases child abuse results because some parents were abused as children and never learned how to be a good parent. 

In the United States, April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. A Kiwanis club could assist local events for Child Abuse Prevention Month in a variety of ways: 

• Recognition event. Hold a luncheon, dinner, award ceremony or other event to publicly thank child protection workers, foster parents, a media personality or others who have made a significant contribution to preventing child abuse.

• Publicity. Send press releases to local radio and television stations.
• Proclamation. Work with the sponsoring organization to have government leaders issue 
proclamations supporting Child Abuse Prevention Month.
• Church events. Contact places of worship and propose that they set aside a weekend to 
celebrate children and families. Suggest a sermon or discussion on disciplining without shouting or spanking, reaching out to parents having difficulty with their children or the importance of positive parenting for physical, emotional and spiritual good health. 
• Blue ribbon campaign. Urge everyone in the community to wear a blue ribbon during April, to show that they know child abuse is an important problem. If appropriate, make the wearing of the blue ribbon a reminder of a child in the community who died from child abuse during the past year. 
• Kids day. Organize a “Kids for Kids” parade dedicated to children featuring children. 



One of the best ways for a Kiwanis club to effect change in child abuse situations is to work with organizations already addressing the problem. In many countries there is a group dedicated to prevent-ing child abuse through public education, such as UNICEF and the International Society for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect. The United States is fortunate to have chapters of Prevent Child Abuse America in most areas. Using their website,, you can find your local chapter. 


Most child abuse prevention organizations have public awareness materials that they will share with Kiwanis clubs. Rather than starting from scratch, clubs should seek out these organizations and ask permission to use printed and video public service announcements, radio spots or art for fliers and brochures. Some also offer “op-ed” pieces that can be submitted to newspapers 

Below are two additional websites providing current information on child abuse information


This information was sent by former Kiwanis International President Wil Blechman, current Chairman of the Young Children Priority One  Kiwanis International Committee:

 "approximately 1500 of these abused children die annually. Worse, yet, is the torture some of these children undergo prior to death.

Another point to be made  is that in the U.S., more than three million reports are actually called in to the various state investigating agencies. While less than a million of these are confirmed, there is little question in the minds of experts in the field that there are likely a significant number which couldn't be proven but still actually occurred. Furthermore, what reinforces this as a Kiwanis Young Children: Priority One issue in the percentage of child abuse deaths that occur before the age of five.

The information you have provided, as well as that which I've added suggest how much society pays in the future because of what we don't do to prevent problems early in life. Money is wasted because we have adults who can't function normally as a result of childhood abuse and end up in poor health, unable to learn, in jail or simply in situations where they take from society in the form of whatever safety nets are available rather than being able to provide positively to society.”

 I hope your Club will consider doing a YCPO project to help prevent Child Abuse. Every child deserves to be born into a world knowing and expecting warmth, love, nourishment and security. And isn't this what Kiwanis  is all about?

Ava Adams, District Chair 
Young Children Priority One(Y.C.P.O.)
New England and Bermuda District!
email: faithava2008@

Sunday, March 4, 2018

YCPO - March, 2018

(information provided by Mayo Clinic)

         It is estimated that 1,000-3,000 children in the United States suffer from SBS each year.*
        One fourth of victims of SBS die, and 80 percent of survivors suffer from permanent damage.*
        In the United States, the costs of hospitalization and continuing care for SBS victims can total 1.2 to 1.6 billion dollars each year.*
        Some estimate that up to half of infant deaths caused by child abuse are due to shaken baby syndrome.*
          Shaken Baby Syndrome and its resultant injuries can occur within seconds of a child be shaken violently.*

Shaken baby syndrome — also known as abusive head trauma, shaken impact syndrome, inflicted head injury or whiplash shake syndrome — is a serious brain injury resulting from forcefully shaking an infant or toddler.
Shaken baby syndrome destroys a child's brain cells and prevents his or her brain from getting enough oxygen. Shaken baby syndrome is a form of child abuse that can result in permanent brain damage or death.

Shaken baby syndrome is preventable. Help is available for parents who are at risk of harming a child. Parents also can educate other caregivers about the dangers of shaken baby syndrome.

Shaken baby syndrome symptoms and signs include:
        Extreme irritability
        Difficulty staying awake
        Breathing problems
        Poor eating
        Pale or bluish skin

Other injuries that may not be initially noticeable include bleeding in the brain and eye, damage to the spinal cord and neck and fractures of the ribs, skull and bones. Evidence of prior child abuse also is common.
In mild cases of shaken baby syndrome, a child may appear normal after being shaken, but over time he or she may develop health, learning or behavior problems.

When to see a doctor
Seek immediate help if you suspect your child has been injured by violent shaking.
Contact your child's doctor or take your child to the nearest emergency room. Getting medical care right away may save your child's life or prevent serious health problems.
Health care professionals are legally required to report all suspected cases of child abuse to state authorities.  

Babies have weak neck muscles and often struggle to support their heavy heads. If a baby is forcefully shaken, his or her fragile brain moves back and forth inside the skull. This causes bruising, swelling and bleeding.
Shaken baby syndrome usually occurs when a parent or caregiver severely shakes a baby or toddler due to frustration or anger — often because the child won't stop crying.

Shaken baby syndrome isn't usually caused by bouncing a child on your knee, minor falls or even rough play.

For parents and other caregivers, factors that may increase the risk of inflicting shaken baby syndrome include:
        Unrealistic expectations of babies
        Young or single parenthood
        Domestic violence
        Alcohol or substance abuse
        Unstable family situations
        A history of mistreatment as a child
Also, men are more likely to inflict shaken baby syndrome than are women.

Just a few seconds of shaking an infant can cause irreversible brain damage. Many children affected by shaken baby syndrome die.
Survivors of shaken baby syndrome may require lifelong medical care for conditions such as:
        Partial or total blindness
        Hearing loss
        Developmental delays, learning problems or behavior issues
        Mental retardation
        Seizure disorders
        Cerebral palsy 


      Educate the public by distributing this information at Health Fairs, Pediatrician’s Offices, OB/GYN Offices, Urgent Care Facilities, Day Care providers etc.

Below is a link to a Brochure from KPTI on Shaken Baby Syndrome which can be distributed to the public. Check with KPTI as they may be able to provide Clubs with copies of the brochure.


The Manchester New Hampshire  recently opened a Reading Corner in A Laundromat which is a YCPO Project geared to encourage reading to children under the age of 5 while  they are spending time at the laundromat  with an adult.
This is an excellent opportunity to develop a love of reading in young children while  using time productively and promoting quality family 
 interaction. Thank you to the Manchester,  New Hampshire Club!

The Caribou Maine Kiwanis Club received  $200 grant money from the Kiwanis Foundation of New England to establish a Reading Corner in a Laundromat. The Corner will be up and working  in a short time. 

There is still money available from KFNE  for a grant up to $200 to establish
a Reading Corner in A Laundromat. It is easy to apply at If you need more information or if I can help, please contact me. Early intervention is the key in  improving literacy for our children

Finally, please email me about YCPO projects your club is doing or has done so I can share these ideas with members in our District via this newsletter.  Thank you for all that you do for our children in your community and in the world.

Ava Adams, District Coordinator
Young Children Priority ne  (YCPO)
New England and Bermuda District of Kiwanis
Scarborough Maine Kiwanis Club

Friday, February 2, 2018

YCPO - February 2018

Good Morning Fellow Kiwanians!

This month I will focus on EasterSeals which focuses on helping children (and adults) with disabilities.


EasterSeals is working to create a world where:
   •     Each child born with a disability is given the support necessary to participate fully in life and to have dreams and hopes, successes and achievements.
   •     Parents of a newly-diagnosed child with a disability are aware of the services and resources available to them and get unimpeded access to all necessary services.
   •     Children with disabilities are recognized by all as having vital contributions to make to our society.
   •     Communities value and support children with disabilities and their families.
   •     Access to appropriate child care is available for children with special needs.
   •     Families benefit from innovations and new technologies that help children with disabilities be as independent as possible.

Child Development Centers
Our Child Development Center Network is the largest provider of inclusive child care in the United States. EasterSeals serves thousands of young children and their families in a setting where children with disabilities and special needs comprise 25 percent of enrollment.

Early Intervention
Early intervention services help young children with disabilities achieve their goals in cognitive, social/emotional, communicative, adaptive and physical development.
Services may include occupational therapy to help an infant learn to hold her bottle, physical therapy to help her learn to roll over, or speech therapy to help her learn to eat. Most early intervention services take place in the home or, in the case of working parents, at child care facilities in the local community.

Locations of EasterSeals Rehabilitation Centers and Offices in New England

New Hampshire —EasterSeals New Hampshire(Rehabilitation Center)
555 Auburn Street,
Manchester, NH 03103

Maine - EasterSeals Maine, Portland
125 Presumpscot Street,
Portland, ME 04103

Easter Seals Massachusetts
484 Main Street, Denholm Building
Worcester, MA 01608-1817

EasterSeals Rhode Island, Wakefield
213 Robinson Street,
Wakefield, RI 02879

Easter Seals
5 Woodruff Ave
Narragansett, Rhode Island

EasterSeals Vermont
641 Comstock Road, Suite 1
Berlin, VT 05602

Connecticut — EasterSeals Rehabilitation Center of Greater Waterbury
22 Tompkins Street,
Waterbury, Connecticut
Children ages: 3 to 5 years

EasterSeals Capital Region & Eastern Connecticut
100 Deerfield Road,
Windsor, C
EasterSeals Coastal Fairfield County
733 Summer Street,
Stamford, CT 06901

EasterSeals serves 1.4 million children and adults with disabilities and their families, offering a wide range of services at 73 affiliates nationwide. Easter Seals changes the way the world defines and views disability by making profound, positive differences in people's lives every day, helping their clients build the skills and access the resources they need to live, learn, work and play.

Services include:
   •     Accessibility Resources
   •     Autism Services
   •     Camping & Recreation
   •     Day Care
   •     Employment & Training
   •     In-Home Care
   •     Mental Health Services
   •     Therapy
   •     Veteran Reintegration
   •     Senior Career Employment
   •     Respite Services
How Can Kiwanis Clubs Help?

   1     Contact EasterSeals in your locale and request a Speaker come to your Club to explain how Kiwanis members can help.
   2     Have a fundraiser for EasterSeals.
   3     Register for an EasterSeals Walk With Me Event Near You — Raise funds as an individual or as part of a team.
   4     Sponsor a Walk With Me Participant — Support friends participating in an EasterSeals Walk With Me event.
   5     Join the Presidents' Council — Make a vital difference in the lives of people living with disabilities with a donation of $1,000 or more.
   6     Recycle for EasterSeals — Help the environment and raise money for EasterSeals. Recycle your cell phone, laser and inkjet cartridges, and more, to generate funds to help support children and adults with disabilities and their families. Learn more about this eco-friendly, fundraising initiative.

Feel Good About Giving to EasterSeals

EasterSeals primary services benefit over 1.3 million individuals each year through more than 550 centers nationwide, in Puerto Rico and Australia. For children and adults with disabilities and their families, every donation counts. Find out how your contribution makes a difference
For 25 years, EasterSeals has been first among National Health Council members for the percentage (94 percent) of program dollars allocated to providing direct services.

For more information go to

Ava Adams
District Coordinator,
Young Children Priority One (YCPO)
Scarborough Maine Kiwanis Club
New England and Bermuda District


Friday, January 5, 2018

YCPO - January 2018

Good Morning fellow Kiwanians!
Happy New Year!

Fact: Medical equipment, treatment and facilities designed for adults just don't fit when treating an ill or injured child.
Fact: It costs around four times as much money to treat a child as it does to treat an adult with the same ailment.

Children's Miracle Network Hospitals was founded with the sole purpose to help as many children as possible by raising funds for children’s hospitals and keep funds in the community in which they were raised to help local children.
The organization was founded by Marie Osmond and her family, and John Schneider, Mick Shannon and Joe Lake.
Kiwanis International was the first association based sponsor of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, joining the charity as a partner in 1982. Key Club and the many other arms of Kiwanis joined later on as they became recognized programs of Kiwanis.
In 1997, Key Club made Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals an official charity of choice for their members to support. Kiwanis-raised funds have enabled the networks' 170 member hospitals to provide medical care, research, and education to benefit children. Since 1983 Kiwanis has donated more than $25 million to CMN hospitals. CMN hospitals train 60% of pediatricians and 80% of all pediatric specialists.


To provide the best care for kids, children’s hospitals rely on donations and community support, as Medicaid and insurance programs do not fully cover the cost of care. Since 1983, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals has helped fill those funding gaps by raising more than $5 billion, most of it $1 at a time through Miracle Balloon icon campaigns. Its various
fundraising partners and programs support the nonprofit’s mission to save and improve the lives of as many children as possible.

        Kids with Trauma 16,200
        Kids with Diabetes 935
        Kids with Cancer 2,128
        Kids for Surgeries 2329
        Babies with NICU 925

   •     62 Children enter a CMN Hospital every minute
   •     1 IN 10 Children in North America are treated by a CMN Hospital each year
   •     32 MILLION Patients visits are provided for 10 million kids every year by CMN Hospitals

There are 6 CMN Hospitals in New England.
•     Children's Hospital Boston, Boston, MA. serves eastern MA and eastern                  and southern New Hampshire
•     Baystate Children's Hospital, Springfield, MA.
•     Barbara Bush Children's Hospital at Maine Medical Center in Portland,           ME. serving children and families from all over northern New England.
•    Vermont Children Hospital at Fletcher Allen Health Care, Burlington, VT.
•    Connecticut Children's Medical Center, Hartford, CT.
•    Hasbro Children's Hospital, Providence RI.

How Can Kiwanis Clubs Help?
If your Club is located near a CMN Hospital, contact an administrator and ASK how your Kiwanis Club can help. Many volunteers are needed to help at the information desk etc.
Here is a brief description of the two main roles which are open to volunteer applicants.
Inpatient/Clinic Volunteers - Interact with patients, siblings and families at the bedside, in the playroom or waiting room area to provide opportunities for developmentally appropriate play and socialization which may include holding infants/toddler, engaging in art, reading and taking part in structured activities with patients.  Additionally, the volunteer would assist their supervisor with any other needs, such as unit programming, preparing materials for special events and helping organize and maintain a safe, clean environment while assisting with toy washing.
Customer Service Volunteers - Create welcoming atmosphere at main entrance of hospital and provide way finding assistance to all patients, families and guests.  Assist patients and families at time of discharge from the hospital.  Additionally, customer service volunteers engage with patients and siblings through play-based activities in the Hale Family Center for Families.
Volunteers are allowed to play with children or to complete non-medical               tasks. 
    Fundraising ideas:
          1) Organize a "Miracle Mile of Quarters" fundraiser
          2) Organize "Duck Races" with your Key Club
          3) Sell "Miracle Balloons"
          4) Organize a Blood Drive/give blood.

   Support -      

Celebrate National Pancake Day® at IHOP® and get a FREE short stack of our Original Buttermilk Pancakes!
February 27,2018

In return, IHOP asks that you make a donation to their charitable partners. Every stack served helps reach the goal of raising $3.5 million for children battling critical illnesses. Proceeds support CMN Hospitals, Shriners Hospitals for Children, and Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. ALL PROCEEDS GO TO LOCAL CMN HOSPITALS!
Official National Pancake Day® Volunteer
On February 27, 2018, club members can support National Pancake Day by serving as ambassadors to encourage restaurant patrons to support Children’s Miracle Network hospitals. Beginning each January, watch for
information from Kiwanis International about registering to volunteer on National Pancake Day.

For more information go to:

Ava Adams, District Coordinator
Young Children Priority One (Y.C.P.O.)
Scarborough, Maine Kiwanis Club
New England and Bermuda District!