By Ginny Sagal, Communication & Outreach Coordinator, The Children’s Advocacy Center of Jackson County
When I was working at the schools teaching science, I saw a lot: Watching when the seasons changed who was wearing flip flops when the temperature was 32 degrees. Which child would come to school without a jacket and wearing shorts and a short sleeve t-shirt? I was watching for the ones who had no snack at recess time. Who was the one child who was always losing his or her homework because he or she did not have a backpack?
It was very clear to me that I had a job as a teacher, advocate and protector of the children.
I had kids sometimes come up to me and ask me who was going to pick them up that day — I was also the bus lady – or at whose house were they going to stay for the weekend. Yes, they were given a breakfast and lunch at school provided by the school administration, but were they going to get dinner and where were they going to sleep at night?
The acting out in class sometimes would be the fear of the unknown or some dark secret they were keeping. I was their protector watching and observing them. I was able to give my supervisor the information they needed so that a child could get the help and services they needed and deserved.
At the CAC, I am a protector of the children by reaching out to others to get engaged in our efforts to prevent child abuse.
This month is Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month. Let’s all be protectors of the children. Let’s all remember that:
· ALL CHILDREN NEED TO BE PROTECTED
· ALL CHILDREN NEED FOOD AND SHELTER
· ALL CHILDREN NEED KIND AND UNDERSTANDING ADULTS IN THEIR LIVES
For more about April’s Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month and local activities, visit: http://cacjc.org/child-abuse-prevention-month/