According to Karla Rosendahl, the proverb “an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of attention” – once said by Benjamin Franklin – can accurately describe how to end child abuse.
Karla – who heads the Child Abuse Prevention Council of Columbus – and the rest of the council members will have a busy month of April for Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month.
For starters, the council is holding a pinwheel garden display in front of Region IV Lawn throughout the month of April.
But it won’t stop there.
Windmills will be all over the city like in front of businesses such as the YMCA, 1C | The Sanctuary, Survivor Center and more, Karla said.
“So when someone sees a reel coming out, they can think about what it takes to create a healthy child and try to stop that abuse from happening,” she said. “…If they see that pinwheel, they can reach out to that child who may be struggling or needs some extra attention or love.”
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The windmills will also be on display at the Guardians of the Children (GOC) Heartland Chapter biker and bobsledder fishing event on April 2 in Pawnee Park, Karla said.
“We (the council and the GOC) have the same goal in mind: the prevention of child abuse,” she said.
The council is also sponsoring a Wear Blue for Child Abuse contest – in which schools and businesses wear blue clothes – on April 8. A prize will be awarded to a company and a school based on who has the most blue or the most creative ideas for the day, Karla says. A business and a school won $100 last year, she added.
The board also participates in the Columbus Family YMCA Healthy Kids Day on April 30. Council members will provide child abuse prevention bags and information on the subject, Karla said.
Columbus Community Hospital is also partnering with the council by distributing bibs, changing mats and educational booklets to families who have babies born in April, Karla said. This is the first year that this has happened, she added.
Lisa Rosendahl, board member of the Child Abuse Prevention Council – who is also coordinator of the Platte and Colfax Counties Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Connection – said the prevention of child abuse is vital.
“If we can prevent fewer cases of child abuse, then that will be wonderful,” she said. “…All it takes is one adult, that’s what we need. This is (also) CASA’s philosophy. A caring adult makes a difference.
Karla said everyone needs to be involved to help end child abuse.
“It takes a whole village to raise a child,” she says. “There must be a lot of positive involvement in this child. It may not be a relative. It could be a caregiver, a grandparent, or maybe even their teacher.
For more information on the coalition, search for Child Abuse Prevention Council of Columbus NE on Facebook.
Andrew Kiser is a reporter for the Columbus Telegram. Contact him by email at [email protected]