Three DI schools join 'Pinwheels' project to fight child abuse
It is estimated that one in 10 children will be sexually abused by the time they are 18. To bring that statistic a little closer to home - based on student populations at Daniel Island School, Bishop England High School and Daniel Island Academy - that could be over 200 kids right here in our own community.
To raise awareness about all forms of child abuse, and ways it can be prevented, the Exchange Club of Daniel Island, Darkness to Light (D2L), and Prevent Child Abuse America have launched a “Blue Pinwheels” program in April, which has been designed as National Child Abuse Prevention Month. At all of the island’s schools - DIS, BEHS and DIA - pinwheels representing the total number of students at each facility have been “planted” by volunteers on each campus.
According to organizers, the effort is designed to engage the community by providing opportunities for education and appropriate training on the recognition and prevention of child abuse and child sexual abuse.
“It is our hope that our ‘Pinwheels for Great Childhoods Project’ will lead to healthier families and, ultimately, to the prevention of any form of abuse,” stated JC Dominick, president of the Daniel Island Exchange Club. “…Our goal in holding this event in Charleston, and specifically on Daniel Island, is to demonstrate that when communities come together to support children and families, we all benefit and see a profound impact on the quality of life in the communities in which families live.”
“Darkness to Light is thrilled to be partnering with the Exchange Club of Daniel Island and Prevent Child Abuse America,” added Katelyn Brewer, D2L president and CEO. “We believe that keeping kids safe starts within the community, and partnership is key to creating a successful child protective initiative. We are also extremely proud of the Daniel Island community. Through the Pinwheels for Great Childhoods project, Daniel Island is showing their true commitment to creating a safe environment for children and is truly a role model for communities everywhere.”
For Daniel Island School Principal Kori Brown, the pinwheels initiative is important to DIS because of the school’s “large role in the healthy development of children.”
“Each member of our staff took part in the Darkness to Light training in the fall, and this reinforces that awareness now in the Spring,” said Brown. “It is our hope that by displaying the pinwheels in our front yard, we are reminding those in our community of our commitment to helping their children have a great childhood.”
Prevent Child Abuse America introduced the pinwheel as a national symbol for child abuse prevention in 2008.
“At Prevent Child Abuse America we believe secure, valued children grow up to be influential, life-changing adults,” said Yolanda Harris, executive board member for Prevent Child Abuse America and CEO of The Keynote Group. “We are bringing the Blue Pinwheels campaign this year to Daniel Island to educate our community on the importance of raising a child in a loving home and next year we hope to spread this message of love and support to communities across Charleston and South Carolina.”
Pinwheels can be purchased for $2 each to be displayed in front of local homes and businesses, or on a school campus, throughout the month of April. For more information, visit bluepinwheels.com. All proceeds will go to support child abuse prevention efforts conducted by all three partner organizations. The Daniel Island Exchange Club thanked the following sponsors for their support of the project: Daniel Island Community Fund, Refuel, Daniel Island Real Estate, First Citizens Bank, Exchange Club of Charleston, and the Parents Association of Daniel Island Academy.