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Pinwheels bring attention to child abuse, neglect

Published 5:14 pm, Wednesday, April 2, 2014
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Area teens will raise awareness of child abuse and neglect in Fairfield County through the Pinwheels for Prevention Project.

On Sunday, April 6, 1,864 pinwheels will be installed and displayed on the lawn in front of Vine Cottage, 61 Main St., New Canaan. The pinwheels commemorate the 1,864 children abused and neglected in Fairfield County last year. The installation serves as a visible reminder that April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and will remain on display for one week.

The general public is invited to help with the installation.

Teams of students from New Canaan High School will place the pinwheels, beginning at 1 p.m. They will be led by Ed Milton, a Kids in Crisis TeenTalk counselor at the high school who provides onsite critical crisis prevention counseling and education. TeenTalk is a safe, confidential outlet for students struggling with difficult circumstances, and, as part of the wider network of Kids in Crisis, enables students to build coping skills and, when necessary, find safe havens.

"The Pinwheels for Prevention Project is a powerful statement that will draw awareness to the prevalence of child abuse in Fairfield County -- something not often thought about or acknowledged in our area. This project will bring attention to this critical issue," Shari Shapiro, executive director at Kids in Crisis, said.

"Many people think that abuse and neglect doesn't happen in Fairfield County. Unfortunately, it does, as these numbers show. Through the Pinwheels for Prevention project, we hope to bring awareness to this important issue."

The students will also distribute informative fliers about child abuse and neglect and action steps for child abuse prevention to passersby during the day of the installation.