SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii -- Community members pledged their commitment to preventing child abuse with a proclamation signing and pinwheel parade at Daniel K. Inouye Elementary School, here, April 3.
The proclamation, signed by Maj. Gen. Ron Clark, commanding general, 25th Infantry Division and senior commander, U.S. Army Hawaii, emphasizes the Child Abuse Prevention Month campaign theme for 2019: 'Mil--Parent power -- Together, we keep kids healthy and safe.'
"What we're trying to do is promote positive parenting, eliminate everyday actions that put children at risk, and promote community shared responsibility that fosters healthy children and a healthy community," Clark said after signing the proclamation.
The commander's proclamation calls on the military community to step up, speak up and reach out, and pledges the Army's commitment to building a strong and resilient community.
After the proclamation signing and parade, students planted pinwheels creating a Pinwheel Garden at the Kaulele sculpture at the front of the school. Pinwheels are a national symbol for child abuse prevention representing children's liveliness and spirit.
In addition to Inouye Elementary School staff and students, many of whom who were dressed up as super heroes, other groups participating in the proclamation signing and parade included the Federal Fire Department, Honolulu Police Department, the garrison's Directorate of Emergency Services and 25th Infantry Division Marching Band.
Other senior leaders in attendance included the 25th Infantry Division's Deputy Commander for Interoperability New Zealand Army Col. Trevor Walker; U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii Commander Col. Thomas Barrett; and the division's Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion's Commander Lt. Col. Brian Hayes and Senior Enlisted Advisor Command Sgt. Maj. Jonathon Blue Sr.
During the proclamation signing, Clark encouraged parents to take care of themselves, and know when to ask for help taking advantage of programs available within the local community courtesy of the Family Advocacy Program.
"Understand that there are programs available at U.S. Army Hawaii that help you, you as a parent, you as a student, you as a professional who is involved in shaping and molding resilient military kids," Clark said.
The U.S. Army's Family Advocacy Program helps Soldiers and their families recognize and prepare for the unique challenges of military lifestyles. Its services include seminars, workshops, counseling, and intervention to help strengthen the relationships of Army families.
Family Advocacy Program Manager Don Kreager echoed Clark's statements and encouraged attendees to take advantage of the many events going on throughout the month to start a conversation with friends and parents to be on the lookout for children who may be abused.
"The way we build our futures is we protect you," Kreager said during the proclamation signing ceremony. "You as kids have friends (or) have siblings and you can help us be a part of that solution. Inside each of you is a hero and you can step up and save someone's life."
For more information about the Family Advocacy Program call (808) 655-4227 or visit https://hawaii.armymwr.com/programs/family-advocacy-program.
For more information about preventing child abuse or other Army Community Services resources and programs, stop by a Child Abuse Prevention Month outreach table:
•April 12, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Tripler Army Medical Center Dining Facility
•April 15, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Schofield Barracks PX
•April 16, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Tripler Army Medical Center Oceanside Lobby
•April 17, 10-11 a.m., Schofield Barracks' Sgt. Yano Library (held during Family Story Time)
•April 19, 4-6 p.m., Aliamanu Military Reservation Community Center (held during the Easter Egg Scramble)
•April 20, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Schofield Barracks' Weyand Field (held during the annual Fun Fest/Earth Day)
•April 22, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Fort Shafter PX