Shoals creates Circle of Support

First Posted: 4/8/2009

PINNACLE Students at Shoals Elementary School gathered in the gymnasium Wednesday for a Circle of Support for Child Abuse Prevention Month.
Throughout the week students have participated in a number of events to help them realize the seriousness of the issue. The week started on Monday when each student received a life saver sucker.
Each of us needs to be a life saver for those around us, said Eric Riggs, principal, of the significance of the suckers.
The students were asked to wear something blue on Tuesday and had the assembly along with cupcakes with blue icing made by the cafeteria staff on Wednesday. Thursday the students can bring a stuffed animal to school with them to act as a buddy.
During the assembly the students listened as Dr. Ashley Hinson, superintendent, read a proclamation by the Surry County Board of Commissioners declaring April Child Abuse Prevention Month. He also spoke to students about the different types of abuse, including physical and psychological.
Often times the worst abuse is psychological. Those scars never, ever, ever leave them, said Hinson.
Wooden silhouettes representing the children in North Carolina who died as a result of child abuse were on display around the gym. The silhouettes were cut out by Russ Reynolds, a freshman at North Surry High School, and painted by art students at East Surry High School. The paint was donated by Lowes Home Improvement and Discount Builders. Fifth graders at the school hung lanyards on the cutouts as the names and ages of the victims were read out.
Riggs went on to say that the school does not typically have assemblies in April because it is so close to testing he does not like to take away from instruction time. However, he said this event was worth taking away a little of that time.
The timing of this assembly stresses its importance, he said. I cant think of anything more important than this.
Thank you as adults for recognizing this is an issue and this is our responsibility, said Hinson. Thank you for letting me be a part of this very important program.
At the conclusion of the gathering, the students took hold of a paper chain they helped to make and carried it out into the schools courtyard. The chain was composed of 935 links which represented the 935 reports of child abuse in Surry County last year. The students were able to decorate their own links before attaching them in a chain.
You worked very hard and it was not possible without each and every one of you, said Ingle Sloop, school counselor. Today should not only sadden you but encourage you.
The event at Shoals is one of a number of events scheduled throughout the month to help raise awareness about child abuse.
Contact Morgan Wall at [email protected] or 719-1929.

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