By Leah Howell, Jackson County Training Coordinator, PROTECT OUR CHILDREN Child Abuse Prevention Training

My son just started preschool this year.  Two days per week, he gathers with 10 other 3 year-olds and follows a routine of play, circle time, and snack.

Right now he and his classmates are learning about the life-cycle of the monarch butterfly, and subsequently, they were able to capture two caterpillars. Inside an aquarium, and with assistance from a branch tilted at just the right angle, those caterpillars each made a chrysalis.  What an amazing process this insect goes through – changing from one thing, to something so different!

I wonder if there is something innate in the caterpillar that realizes someday he will not be confined to such a small area of the world, eating every minute of the day, trapped in a slow moving, defenseless body.  Do they know, somehow, that there is more in store for them? Or if, when he sees other monarch butterflies, does he innately “know” that is what he will become?

Children come into this world totally dependent and defenseless too.

I do not know if each child is born with an innate knowledge of their potential, but I do know that the beliefs about their own worth can be easily influenced by negative messages: “You’re a bad kid,” “You’re too emotional,” “You are an inconvenience,” and “You are nothing special.”

These messages early and often have the power to keep a kid on the ground, metaphorically speaking, dragging wings that seem like nothing more than a nuisance.

I love being part of the Children’s Advocacy Center – an organization that prioritizes protection, support and care of kids,…a place where the employees and volunteers speak worth and potential into kid’s lives all day, every day… a place that teaches kids how to start to use the amazing wings they’ve got, and then, through amazing transformations, kids learn to fly!

Come be a part of these transformations!

If you have time, kind words, energy, and love to give – call Ginny Sagal our Volunteer Coordinator: 541-282-5474 Ext. 113.