Apr. 7—The sparkle of a blue and silver pinwheel may bring a smile to a youngster's face, but in April a field of pinwheels is a reminder of the abuse and neglect suffered by children across the nation every day.
Tuesday afternoon, volunteers set out 1,000 pinwheels in the Children's Garden of the Pulaski County Public Library in observance of National Child Abuse Prevention Month.
"We feel like the Children's Garden is a good home for them," Somerset Junior Woman's Club's Melanie King said of those pinwheels.
The display will last throughout April, and is sponsored by the Somerset Junior Woman's Club, with help from title sponsors the Don Franklin Family of Dealerships and the Pulaski County Community Early Childhood Council.
The aim is to bring awareness to to child abuse here in Kentucky. According to the most recent report from the Kentucky Child Fatality and Near Fatality External Review Panel, Kentucky had 182 fatal or near fatal cases involving children in 2019. Three of those were in Pulaski.
Also, Kentucky's Task Force on Crimes Against Children reported that in 2017 (the most recent information) there were 146 confirmed cases of child abuse and neglect within Pulaski.
King and Junior Woman's Club's Wynona Padgett said that the local organization has joined hundreds of Junior Woman's Clubs around the country in a Junior Clubs Special Project to advocate for children.
"We feel like child abuse prevention awareness is something we need to advocate for," King said.
This year marks the 15th year the club has put out pinwheels, King said, although the group couldn't do it last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Padgett said that when Child Abuse Prevention Month is over, the library will gather the pinwheels and use them as prizes or giveaways for children's activities. "In the past, they've used them for the Summer Reading Program," she said, although she was unsure of the specific plans for this year.