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March 22, 2014

One Hope United raises awareness

MT. VERNON — — Volunteers of the One Hope United Foster Grandparent Program and students of the Primary Center worked together on a special art project.

As part of the project, Primary students created faces that will be used for an awareness walk around the Jefferson County Courthouse next month.

"It is always such a joy to see the volunteers and children interact," said Jennifer Witzel, Foster Grandparent Program coordinator.

The Foster Grandparent Program is part of the Corporation for National Service sponsored by OHU. The program matches older adult mentors and helpers in the grade schools throughout the area.

During the month of April, events will be taking place throughout the state and country to promote awareness about the prevention of child abuse.

"Child abuse is one of the greatest tragedies of our times and it doesn't have to be," Witzel said.

Locally, the Prevent Child Abuse Committee has chosen to do a walk to signify support in Jefferson County and the awareness for child abuse prevention.

On April 3, from noon to 1 p.m. at the Jefferson County Courthouse, supporters of the cause will take time to walk around the courthouse wearing blue to show their support to stop the abuse.

"We can prevent it by building communities that are committed to families and to the support and services they need to raise strong, healthy and successful children," Witzel said.

Ben Teriet's kindergarten class has worked with grandparent volunteers to make boy and girl faces on a stick for the participants to hold while they walk at the Child Abuse Prevention Walk.

Witzel told students they were helping protect other kids by raising awareness through their art project. Each child was given options on what color of hair, ribbons and hats they wanted to use on the faces.

"I like picking out the color of hair," said student Amajiah Stuckey. "I like helping the kids."

For more information on the OHU Foster Grandparent program or the Child Abuse Prevention Walk, contact Witzel at 731-4278.

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