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Pinwheels are the new symbol for child abuse prevention | READER COMMENTARY

Have you noticed a sudden “sprouting” of blue pinwheels throughout Downtown Bel Air over the past week? Have you been wondering what they represent? April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

In 2008, Prevent Child Abuse America introduced the pinwheel as the new national symbol for child abuse prevention. Why? Because by its very nature, the pinwheel connotes playfulness, joy, and childhood. It has come to serve as a physical reminder of the great childhoods we want for all children.


In addition, as a symbol, the cyclical nature of the pinwheel calls to mind the positive cycles of love and support we want to help families create. We plant pinwheel gardens to raise awareness about the seriousness of the effects of child abuse and neglect in our community, and hope that their presence will make everyone think about the role they can play in protecting our children.

This year, staff from CASA of Harford County and the Harford County Child Advocacy Center planted pinwheel gardens in various locations to highlight the importance of child abuse prevention. Pinwheel displays are located throughout Bel Air on N. Bond Street, adjacent to the Newberry Café and Bakery, outside the Department of Community Services at 125 N. Main St., in front of the Harford County Child Advocacy Center at 23 N. Main St., and in front of the Harford County Sheriff’s Office at 45 S. Main St.


We would like to thank the following community partners who have supported these efforts during the month of April by allowing pinwheels to be displayed on their properties: Department of Community Services, Child Advocacy Center, Harford Mutual Insurance, and Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler and the Sheriff’s Office.

We also want to thank the Newberry Café and Bakery for selling blue awareness ribbons in their shop to benefit CASA of Harford County, and The Nest on Main for raffling off a gift basket in their shop to also benefit CASA.

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Preventing child abuse and neglect is the responsibility of the entire community, not just certain child-serving and law enforcement agencies.

So what can the community do? Communities can continue to work toward combating child abuse by supporting and encouraging each other in protecting our children.

As a community, we can come together and talk about the organizations and resources available and the types of programs they have to offer. The goal is to expand the services available and establish a shared community philosophy, or mutual agreement of efforts.

By coming together and supporting one another, we can effectively increase a sense of responsibility among adults.

Ross P. DiEdoardo

Director, CASA of Harford County


Co-Chair, Cherish the Child Symposium