Chattanooga’s Kids on the Block partnered with the Creative Discovery Museum, Arts Build and The Chattanooga Kappa Delta Alumnae Association to help empower children.
The 7th Annual Pinwheels for Prevention … It’s Your Turn to Make a Difference will be presented on April 10, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the Creative Discovery Museum.
Pinwheels for Prevention will be held during the museum’s free family night in April.
The first 500 children to enter the event will receive safety kits that include activity sheets, crayons, and identification cards. Several local community resource agencies will participate with hands on activities for children and resource information for adults.
With the help of The Chattanooga Kappa Delta Alumnae Association children will have the opportunity to create and design cards and donate them to children who have or are experiencing maltreatment and illness in our community. Participants will enjoy two puppet performances by Chattanooga’s Kids on the Block addressing child abuse prevention and safety.
Kids on the Block uses child-size puppets to communicate with children, giving them skills to stay safe and healthy. The personal safety program addresses child abuse through the eyes of an eleven and fourteen year old kid. “We see children looking up to the puppet “kids” as though they are peers and they find it easier to open up to the “kids” and share their secrets,” said Carly Lewallen, Program Director.
Puppet “kids” Stephen Arthurs and Derek Price, both 11-year- old “kids,” share their story and emphasize to children that it is OK to tell someone if abuse happens to them or someone they know. They also emphasize that child abuse is never a child’s fault and a child can never do anything to be abused.
After every program children are given the opportunity to write the “kids” letters, which are read and evaluated by a member of the CKOB staff. One third grade student writes, “Your program is great! Now I know about child abuse. And, it is never a kid’s fault. EVER!”
From July 2013 through March, 2014, Chattanooga’s Kids on the Block has performed over 70 Personal Safety programs serving over 10,000 children and adults in our 15 county service area.
It is difficult for adults to understand and process many of the sensitive issues CKOB discusses, but through our age appropriate programs and the use of puppetry children view the “puppets” as a trusted friend, making it easy for children to identify and open up to.
“The educational programs we offer are very much needed in our community. Chattanooga’s Kids on the Block is licenses to perform 42 of the 45 National programs available to Kids on the Block Troupes. We continue to seek additional funding to make more focus program topics available such as Childhood Cancer and Coping with Crisis, just to name a few,” said Executive Director Kelly Williams.
Chattanooga's Kids on the Block programs are free of charge to schools in 15 counties of Southeast Tennessee, North Georgia, and Alabama due to funding from United Way, Craftworks, Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga, Chattanooga Area Brain Injury Association, Kiwanis Club, Downtown Sertoma Club, Civitan Club, BASF, Jacob Best Foundation, Staples, Wal-Mart, Lyndhurst Foundation, First Tennessee Foundation, local businesses, individual donors and fundraising efforts.
For more information, visit www.kidsontheblock.net or call the CKOB office at 757.5259.