Fifteen members of the Boys & Girls Club of the Siskiyous planted 30 pinwheels in the Mount Shasta City plaza Monday morning, April 2, 2018, to commemorate Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month.

The new pinwheel garden is one of about 50 that are being planted in Siskiyou County, according to Siskiyou Community Services Council Executive Director Kathy Suvia.

The pinwheel garden includes a sign that reads: “April is ... National Child Abuse Prevention Month – “Every Child Safe, Every Community Aware”

Event participants included Mount Shasta Mayor Kathy Morter, who told the children prior to the planting, “We wanted everybody in town to know about this so we can all work together to make sure everybody is safe.”

Boys & Girls Club of the Siskiyous Executive Director Noam Zimin said the Club plans to plant another pinwheel garden next week at Sisson School.

The Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors has designated April as Child Abuse Prevention Awareness month in Siskiyou County – “a time to renew our commitment to ending this tragedy by doing all we can to support children and families in our community,” according to a press release from Siskiyou CSC.

Pinwheel gardens will be planted nationwide throughout April. Other locations in Siskiyou County include the Siskiyou County Courthouse, Siskiyou Child Care Council in Weed, Dignity Health in Mount Shasta, Rain Rock Casino in Yreka, and the McCloud Hotel in McCloud, as well as other businesses and public offices.

“I’m sure there is a pinwheel garden near you,” Suvia states in the press release. “While the pinwheel creates a memorable and compelling visual, it is the story behind the pinwheel that makes the biggest mark. The pinwheel is a sign of movement and life. It represents the childhoods all children deserve.”

Suvia attended Monday’s planting in Mount Shasta with Lisa McCauley, who will replace Suvia at the CSC executive director at the end of May.

The CSC says it “is dedicated to its role as the Child Abuse Prevention Council and is working on many fronts to minimize the root causes of child abuse. Factors that can lead to child abuse or neglect include poverty, unsuitable housing, lack of access to health care (primary care, dental care, mental health care), and substance abuse.

“The CSC’s collective impact work with partner agencies and its support of local efforts to reduce substance abuse, increase awareness about human trafficking, increase access to appropriate health care, and minimize the negative impacts of poverty on families, are all strategies toward that end.

“Throughout the US, a report of child abuse is made every 10 seconds. Child abuse occurs at every socioeconomic level, across ethnic and cultural lines, within all religions and at all levels of education.”

Siskiyou County’s substantiated cases of child abuse and neglect, according to kidsdata.org, are trending downward and are better than in many other rural northern California counties, as stated in the press release. “But we still have a lot of work to do,” emphasized Suvia.

A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that child abuse and neglect costs taxpayers $124 billion each year in this country.

“We must work towards a time when no child is harmed by abuse or neglect,” indicated Kirk Andrus, Siskiyou County DA, and President of the Siskiyou CSC. “With your help, and help from neighbors, teachers, doctors, employers and community service providers, we can increase a parent’s capacity to provide safe, stable, nurturing environments and relationships for their children.”

Contact the CSC at 530-926-5127 for more details about specific efforts and how you can make a difference.