EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT/
YOUNG CHILDREN PRIORITY ONE NEWSLETTER
AVA ADAMS, DISTRICT CHAIR
NEW ENGLAND AND BERMUDA DISTRICT
Good Morning fellow Kiwanians!
Fact: An estimated 905,000 children were victims of child abuse or neglect in one year in the United States.
(YCPO bulletin "Prevention of Child Abuse”)
Fact: 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.
(YCPO bulletin "Parents Anonymous”)
Fact: A child from a low-income family enters kindergarten with a listening vocabulary of 3,000 words, while a child from a high-income family enters with a listening vocabulary of 20,000 words.
(YCPO bulletin "Reading is Fundamental”)
• DO YOU KNOW APRIL IS CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION MONTH?
In the United States, April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. A Kiwanis club could assist lo-cal 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 im-portance 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.
WHAT CAN KIWANIS CLUBS DO?
• WORK WITH OTHER ORGANIZATIONS
One of the best ways for a Kiwanis club to effect change in child abuse situations is to work with or-ganizations 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 Preven-tion of Child Abuse and Neglect. The United States is fortunate to have chapters of Prevent Child Abuse America in most areas. Using their website, www.preventchildabuse.org, you can find your local chapter.
• RAISING PUBLIC AWARENESS
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
• The YCPO bulletin “Prevention of Child Abuse” has much more detailed information on how Kiwanis Clubs can get involved in the prevention of child abuse. You will find a sample press release, a sam-ple flier on “Messy Fun Day”, a sample flyer on “Winning Ways With Children When Eating Out” which can be distributed to day care centers etc., and a sample shopping bag stuffer on “What to do in the grocery store to help kids behave” (which can be distributed at grocery stores), and “What to say or do when parents abuse their children in public”. I encourage you to check out this bulletin and possibly do a new YCPO project (big or small) on the prevention of child abuse. www.kiwanisone.org/ycpo for the bulletin. The “Prevention of Child Abuse” Bulletin is an attach-ment to this email.
Below are two additional websites providing current information on child abuse infor-mation: https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubPDFs/fatality.pdf and https://www.childhelp.org/child-abuse-statistics/
This information was sent by former Kiwanis International President Wil Blechman, current President of the Young Children Priority One Advisory 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, which I don't believe is in the Kiwanis newsletter, 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 as additional resources, 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 Ki-wanis is all about?
Ava Adams, District Chair 2016-17
Early Childhood Development/Y.C.P.O.
New England and Bermuda District!