Juneau residents line up with legislators for a picture and a cheer during a Go Blue Day Rally for National Child Abuse Prevention Month at the Capitol on Friday, April 5, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Juneau residents line up with legislators for a picture and a cheer during a Go Blue Day Rally for National Child Abuse Prevention Month at the Capitol on Friday, April 5, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Orgs to host event highlighting child abuse prevention

The event honors Child Abuse Prevention Month, a nationwide campaign to spread awareness about childhood neglect

Local agencies are teaming up at the Peninsula Center Mall in Soldotna on Saturday to host an event for Child Abuse Prevention Month, a nationwide campaign to spread awareness about childhood neglect.

The campaign is part of the “Week of the Young Child” initiative, which celebrates early learning and young children, as well as their teachers, families and communities, according to the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

Lauralee Peterson, manager of the Central Peninsula Children’s Advocacy Center in Kenai, has participated in 15 “Week of the Young Child” events locally. This is the second one she’s orchestrated.

“It’s always a great day,” she said.

Different activities will be available free of charge for families with young kids — including gymnastics, face painting and crafts — and mental and physical health care resources will be available for adults.

Peterson said the event both celebrates kids and the local agencies that work with them.

“It kind of is everything for me … and it really is very wholesome,” she said. “This team of people work really, really hard in this community.”

Abby Struffert is the alliance facilitator for the Southcentral Alliance for Family Resilience — another one of the agencies putting on the event. The others include the Change for the Kenai and the Peninsula Points on Prevention.

Struffert said the event itself helps kids and families. The multiple agencies involved in putting on the event and participating as vendors, Struffert said, will bring with them knowledge about supporting families and resources for both kids and adults.

“These positive experiences can really end up being child abuse prevention in the long run,” she said.

The free event will be at the Peninsula Center Mall in Soldotna on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

For more information, Peterson at the Central Peninsula Children’s Advocacy Center can be reached at 907-252-9539 or lauraleekrp@hotmail.com.

Reach reporter Camille Botello at camille.botello@peninsulaclarion.com.

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