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Child abuse is a significant public health problem in the U.S. In 2009, Child Protective Services reported more than 700,000 children were abused or neglected. Sadly, this number represents only a fraction of the actual extent of the issue. The majority of incidences are not reported and child maltreatment remains a largely hidden problem. Some studies estimate that one in eight U.S. children experience some form of child maltreatment.
In 1983, April was proclaimed National Child Abuse Prevention Month. In 2008, the pinwheel was chosen as a symbol to raise awareness about child abuse and neglect. The pinwheel represents the bright future all children deserve. Each April, child advocacy agencies across the country plant pinwheel gardens to raise awareness of the issue of child maltreatment. Locally, pinwheel gardens may be found at Healthy Families, Child Advocacy Center, Early Learning Coalition, Partnership for Strong Families, Department of Children and Families, and the Alachua County Library District Headquarters, downtown. The largest garden is in front of the North Florida Regional Medical Center, where volunteers planted more than 1,000 pinwheels.
In recognition of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, area child advocacy agencies hold an annual carnival called Celebrate the Child. This year the carnival will take place at the Downtown Library on April 20, from 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM. Come out and join in the fun!
Pinwheel Garden @ The Downtown Library
Looking for guidance in your parenting journey? All branches of the Alachua County Library District have Snuggle-Up Centers, the perfect place to find parenting books of all kinds. Here is a small sampling: