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Create great childhoods and neighborhoods

Hardin County Child Abuse Prevention Coalition, Child Abuse Prevention Services of Marshall County and Prevent Child Abuse Iowa are joining communities across the state this month in celebrating the importance of great childhoods and neighborhoods during Child Abuse Prevention Month in April.

During this uncertain time where most families are home-bound, it is important that we practice proper social distancing skills to stop the spread of COVID-19. Sharing positive messages of hope, love and friendship has never been more important.

As adopted by Prevent Child Abuse Iowa and Prevent Child Abuse America, parents and caregivers can build “Great Childhoods.” Here are some ideas:

• Host an online play date.

• Do something new and creative with your children.

• Connect with your community services virtually. You can still find local library readings, art gallery tours or fitness classes online.

• Schedule a video chat with friends and family members.

Likewise, I think we have a unique opportunity to create “Great Neighborhoods.” Here’s how:

• Follow the Teddy Bear craze. Dress a teddy bear in blue and post in your window for others to find.

• Blue Fridays — post a picture of your family dressed in Blue — include your dog or cat too.

• Color sidewalks with chalk. Use #GreatChildhoods or #GreatNeighborhoods and post a picture online.

• Color a pinwheel and post in your window.

• Make your own pinwheel.

Both organizations work to prevent child abuse by advocacy and community outreach. Contact information is as follows:

• Hardin County Child Abuse Prevention Coalition

2411 Edgington Ave., Eldora, Iowa, 50627

641-939-8444

areents@greenbelthomecare.com

Mission: Provide increased awareness that puts an end to child abuse and empower parents to build healthy family relationships.

Facebook: @CAPHardinCo

• Child Abuse Prevention Services

306 S. 17th Ave., Marshalltown, Iowa, 50158

641-752-1730

linda@capsonline.us

Mission: prevent child abuse in Marshall County and the surrounding area.

www.capsonline.us

Facebook: @capsmarshalltown

Children are the future and if people take action not just in April but every day, they can go a long way toward creating stronger communities where abuse and neglect never occur. Remember, anyone can report suspected child abuse by calling the Child Abuse Hotline at 800-362-2178.

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Carrie Kube is a Director for the Iowa River Valley Early Childhood Area Board.

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