Springfield (April 29, 2014) — Joan Kagan, President/CEO of Square One will speak at a flag-raising ceremony to recognizing April as Child Abuse Prevention Month on Tuesday, April 29, at 10 a.m. at Springfield City Hall.
Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno will deliver a proclamation and dozens of area human and social services agency directors and staff, as well as area school children, will participate in the event, including CHD (Center for Human Development), Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, HCS Head Start, Dunbar Community Center, Square One, Gandara Center, New North Citizens Council, Children’s Study Home, state Department of Children and Families, Mass. Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, and the state Department of Youth Services.
April was first declared “Child Abuse Prevention Month” by presidential proclamation in 1985.
Since then, organizations dedicated to protecting children have used this special time of year to acknowledge the importance of families and communities working together to prevent child abuse in all its forms. By ensuring that all parents in our community have access to quality childcare, affordable health services, parenting education resources, and substance abuse and mental health programs, we make progress toward child abuse prevention. Jim Goodwin, President and CEO of CHD, the event organizer, extended an invitation to all area organizations. “We encourage everyone committed to preventing child abuse to join us on April 29 at Springfield City Hall,” he said.
The centerpiece of the event is the raising of a flag that depicts children as blue silhouettes on a red background, a missing middle child symbolizing all children who have been lost to violence.
Springfield’s flag-raising joins nearly 300 events flying flags in 101 cities over all 50 states. The Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) urges anyone who can to fly the flag all month long in support of efforts to protect children from harm. Nearly 3 million children are reported abused and neglected each year in the United States, according to CWLA.