By LaTrina Antoine Pentagram Staff WriterApril 12, 2011
Army Community Services Family Advocacy Program partnered with Child Youth and School Services' School-Age Services to educate children and parents on Child Abuse Awareness Month.
FAP has planned events on child abuse awareness throughout the month of April.
Artistic T-shirts drawn by children from SAS are displayed on base at the Cody Child Development Center, education center and post exchange to make servicemembers, Families and civilians aware of child abuse and its harmful effects.
Children from 6-years-old to 14 designed T-shirts that will be used to inform the public on child abuse, and how not to hurt children.
''To see what the children's perspective is of [child abuse] can sometimes make the adult reflect more on what it means to the child," said Karen St. Pierre, FAP training coordinator.
''There is an emotional connection when the adults see these T-shirts created by the hands of children," Gale Malone, ACS community educator, said.
Children from SAS split into groups March 30 and finished designing T-shirts with their own messages on other ways people could use instead of abuse.
Jaida Befton, 8, designed a shirt that ''helped people cross the road," she said.
Some children drew images with comical topics, others drew messages of how child abuse is not nice with flowers, still others used yoga images as a way to manage anger and stop the abuse, Sara Mulhall, center director, said.
''I'm trying to tell people how much child abuse can hurt a person, especially children, because it's child abuse, and how it affects the person's life in multiple ways," Jahdorna Grant, 14, said.
Along with making the shirts, children also enjoyed chicken alfredo lasagna with spinach.
The lasagna was part of a cooking project earlier in the day.
''We wanted to have awareness of child abuse because I think it is so important for children to know. Sometimes children don't know if it is abuse or if this is the way all the children are treated, so giving them awareness of child abuse is important," said Janaki Morgan, SAS program assistant.
April is not only the month for child abuse awareness. It is also the Month of the Military Child. A plethora of information on child abuse was displayed on a table at the Pentagon from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday. As servicemembers and civilians walked by the table they were greeted with documentation and trinkets on child abuse awareness. FAP also hosted a lunch and learn event Tuesday titled, Discipline vs. Punishment. A class on babysitting was offered April 2.