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Home : News : News
NEWS | March 23, 2010

Protecting communities' children the focus of April observance

By Robert Goetz 502nd Air Base Wing OL-B Public Affairs

The welfare of children is an everyday concern of Randolph's Family Advocacy Program, but its efforts to help safeguard society's youngest members will especially be evident in April.

Personnel involved in the program will participate in activities at Randolph and in the community to call attention to their mission during Child Abuse Awareness Month and Month of the Military Child.

In addition to providing information at the Randolph Medical Clinic and the base library, the Family Advocacy Program will conduct a host of classes - from Bundles for Babies and a car-seat clinic at the Airman and Family Readiness Center to stress management and time management at the Health and Wellness Center.

FAP personnel will also participate in events such as the Randolph Youth Programs' annual Fam-A-Ganza and the San Antonio community's KidsDay in the Park at San Pedro Springs Park, both set for April 10, and the Child Development Center's Spring Fling April 16.

"Being involved in the community as a whole is part of the family advocacy mission," said Family Advocacy Intervention Specialist Mitzi Wood.

Ms. Wood is serving again as volunteer chair for KidsDay in the Park, a free event for parents and children 10 and under that features food, entertainment and information booths. Activities at the event, where some 5,000 families are expected, are related to early childhood education and development.

Members of the Randolph community play an active role at KidsDay, said Ms. Wood. Her duties include finding volunteers to set up, tear down and man all the booths at the event and to oversee them throughout the day.

The month's theme, "Keeping the Promise: Partnering to Protect Our Communities' Children," is consistent with the Family Advocacy Program's community involvement and its commitment to prevent child abuse in the community as well as in the home.

Ms. Wood said parents need to know there is potential for child abuse outside the home, wherever their children go.

"We want to make parents aware they can't treat their children the way we were brought up," she said. "Parents should be present in their children's lives and know what's going on in their heads."

Ms. Wood said parents should also be aware of their children's online activities, another area where the dangers of abuse and exploitation are real.

One of the keys to preventing abuse is to start dialogue with children at an early age, she said.

"Know your kids," Ms. Wood said. "If their personality changes, it indicates something is going on in their lives."

She said parents should educate their children on what is acceptable behavior, both for them and for others in their lives, and establish appropriate boundaries for them.

"We should also be careful about the messages we send kids," Ms. Wood said.

For more information about the Family Advocacy Program and events during April, call Ms. Wood at 652-3828.

Randolph Family Advocacy Program April classes:
· Bundles for Babies - April 2 from 1-3 p.m. at the Airman and Family Readiness Center. An Air Force Aid Society program for active-duty members and their spouses who are expecting a baby. Call 652-5321.
· Prenatal breast-feeding class - April 6 from 12:30-2 p.m. at Fort Sam Houston. Information and techniques for breast-feeding. Call 652-3340.
· Car-seat clinic - April 7 from 1-4 p.m. at the Airman and Family Readiness Center. Tips for installing a car seat properly from a certified car-seat inspector. Call 652-3340.
· Stress management - April 7 from noon to 1 p.m. at the Health and Wellness Center. The basic causes of stress and techniques and tools to cope with everyday stressors. Call 652-2300.
· Time management - April 21 from noon to 1 p.m. at the Health and Wellness Center. How time management directly affects stress levels and methods and tips to better manage time. Call 652-2300.
· Home Alone training - April 22 from 5-6 p.m. at the Airman and Family Readiness Center. Training for children 10 and older, accompanied by their parents, when they are left unattended in base quarters for short periods of time. Call 652-3828.

Child Abuse Awareness Month community events:
· Go Blue Day - April 7. A communitywide event to raise awareness of child abuse and neglect by wearing blue.
· Fam-A-Ganza - April 10 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Randolph Youth Center.
· KidsDay in the Park - April 10 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at San Pedro Springs Park.
· Spring Fling - April 16 at the Child Development Center.