2018-04-12 / Front Page

One Community, One Voice, All Children

Mural painted to support Child Abuse Awareness Month
By Cassidy Pittman
STAFF WRITER


Fulton County community members gathered to participate in the community-based mural painting project held at McConnellsburg Firehall last Thursday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. The mural represents Fulton County and its aspirations to be child-abuse free. Fulton County community members gathered to participate in the community-based mural painting project held at McConnellsburg Firehall last Thursday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. The mural represents Fulton County and its aspirations to be child-abuse free. Dozens of community members showed up to the Mc- Connellsburg Firehall last Thursday to participate in the Family Support Alliance’s Paint for Prevention Mural. The event, hosted from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., was organized by mother and former Central Fulton School District superintendent Dixie Paruch and was scheduled for April, the nation’s Child Abuse Awareness Month.

According to Paruch, the mural is “to symbolize Fulton County’s commitment to keeping children safe.”

Artists Beth Berkhauser, Judith Youshock, and Dorothy Sedock from Heart to Art donated their time to outline the community’s design of the mural. Heart to Art is a is a business that helps organize collaborative art projects meant to inspire, heal, and bind communities.

The images in the mural depict Fulton County, down to the barn quilts displayed on the buildings. The mural also represents safe havens for children, such as firehalls, churches, and schools. It also depicts Fulton County’s longstanding farming tradition.

Also in the mural is a cluster of cats that pays tribute to the late Jean Snyder. Snyder, who loved cats, was the county’s human services administrator, former director of Services for Children and president of Fulton County Family Partnership (FCFP) from 1996 until 2017. Her diligent work in maintaining outreach programs helped many children throughout her lengthy career.

The event was sponsored by Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance (PFSA), which provides training for mandated reporters of child abuse, and the FCFP. McConnellsburg Volunteer Fire Co. donated the space for the event. Commissioner Pete Lynch attended to show support as did Fulton County Services For Children Director Christine Mc- Quade and FCFP community organizer Lori Kendall.

Along with training for professionals, PFSA also provides training and materials for further education in parenting skills and provide support services for families. To show support for Child Abuse Awareness Month, PFSA is handing out blue ribbons to wear and a bookmark on “10 things you can do to be a PA Blue Ribbon Champion for Kids.”

Wear a blue ribbon every day in April.

Teach children they are special.

Listen to children and believe what they say.

Tell children they have a right to be safe.

Know the signs of abuse.

Get to know your neighbors and community.

Learn how to recognize and report suspected child abuse.

Report suspected child abuse. A child’s well-being may depend on it.

Talk to your co-workers, friends, and family about prevention.

Share your time and money wisely – support programs that nurture children and families.

According to PSFA, 33 children in Pennsylvania died last year as a result of child abuse, and 26,664 cases of suspected child abuse were reported. Sadly, there is no community in Pennsylvania without child abuse, but community members can take the above actions to help diminish it.

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