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Students plant pinwheels at CAPstone
April 17, 2014 Jerry Purvis   

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Photo by Jerry Purvis/Gering Citizen - Gering freshman Jaycee Rice helps place several of the nearly 400 pinwheels on the lawn of the CAPstone Child Advocacy Center in Gering. The work by Gering Freshman Academy students helped raise awareness of child abuse.

Student council members from the Gering Freshman Academy joined the staff at the CAPstone Child Advocacy Center last Friday morning to plant pinwheels in awareness of child abuse and neglect in the community.

“April is Child Abuse Prevention Month,” said CAPstone director Holly Brandt. “We plant pinwheels for awareness of the problem. We plant a pinwheel for every child that has been seen here at the center in the past year.”

Almost 400 pinwheels were planted Friday morning. Brandt said in a small community, people might not think child abuse and neglect is a big problem, but it is. “Statistically, Scotts Bluff County is third in the state for the number of intakes per capita,” she said. “I’d say it’s a fairly consistent problem here and also across the country. It takes a community to prevent child abuse and we can all take steps to help keep it from happening.”

Rick Marez is the student council sponsor for the Freshman Academy. He said this is about the third year his students have walked across the street from school to CAPstone to help plant pinwheels.

“The activity is good for the students because they can see how many kids come through the center each year,” Marez said. “It also raised their awareness and they can share what they learned with their friends at school.”

He said the comment he most often receives from the students is they don’t know CAPstone is there or what the center does.

“There are kids out there who are struggling and need help,” Marez said. “Getting involved in planting pinwheels helps our student appreciate that they have and they develop a better understanding of the problem.”

He added another bonus for the students is they get out of class for the activity.

Coming up on Saturday, May 17 is the annual CAPstone Super Hero Run, when kids and adults can dress up as their favorite superhero and run in support of the center’s mission. Registration starts at 8 a.m. and more information will be available closer to the date.

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