BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – Mahoning County Children Services partnered with the Child Advocacy Center at Akron Children’s Hospital Wednesday to plant their annual Pinwheel Garden Display.
The “planting” of the pinwheels is a national effort that kicks off National Child Abuse Prevention Month in April.
Each year communities across the nation “plant” Pinwheel Garden Displays to increase awareness and education of child abuse and neglect.
The pinwheel is the national symbol for Child Abuse Prevention. Each Pinwheel “planted” in the community garden represents an individual who spoke up and reported abuse on behalf of a child.
Community members planted over 1,000 pinwheels, representing Mahoning County alone.
“It just shows that this many people took time out to make a call on behalf of a child, because children can’t report abuse. So, they rely heavily…we rely heavily at child services, child protective services, on a vigilant community,” said Jennifer Kollar, Public Information Officer at Mahoning County Children Services.
This year marks the 15th year of the Pinwheel Garden. Due to the pandemic last year, the garden was not planted for the first time in its history.
The Pinwheel Garden is located on the front lawn of the St. James Meeting House in Boardman Park.
All of April, community members and their families are encouraged to educate themselves in preventing child abuse and neglect in their neighborhoods.
According to MCCS, they received 4,483 reports of child abuse and neglect. Of those reports, 1,462 cases were opened to investigation.
Nationally, approximately one in seven children have experienced abuse or neglect in the past year.
In the U.S., a child abuse report is made every 10 seconds, in Ohio, every 30 seconds.
Ohioans are encouraged to call the Ohio Child Abuse Report Hotline at 855-O-H-CHILD (855-642-4453) if they suspect abuse or neglect.
In Mahoning County, you can also reach MCCS on their 24/7 Report Line at (330) 941-8888.